Westports Q3 net profit up 16% on throughput growth, tariff revision

PETALING JAYA: Westports Holdings Bhd’s net profit in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2016 (Q3FY16) increased 16.14% to RM151.03 million, from RM130.04 million in the previous corresponding quarter, mainly due to growth in container throughput and revision in container tariff.

In a statement yesterday, Westports said the group has achieved another milestone by handling 7.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the nine-month period this year.

Revenue for the quarter grew 18.37% to RM474.41 million, compared with RM400.78 million in the same period last year.

“Our above industry average volume growth has been gratifying, and it reflected the results of our relentless commitment towards accommodating growing requirements from our customers,” its CEO Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said.

Ruben said the group has also benefited from shipping clients’ ad-hoc handling requirements as they introduced larger vessels into their existing container shipping services.

For the nine months period, its net profit rose 29.5% to RM481.98 million, from RM372.32 million a year ago, while revenue up 21.3% to RM1.46 billion, against RM1.2 billion previously.

Conventional throughput increased by 10% to 8.5 million tonnes, as the group handled a higher volume of dry bulk commodities such as sugar and imported grains.

The group said the break bulk tonnages coming through the port, such as steel products and project cargoes for domestic applications and economic activities have also increased.

Furthermore, it said the liquid bulk raised its throughput by 21% with contribution from bunker operations.

Meanwhile, Ruben said the sustained high container volume growth and heavy terminal utilisation have triggered the need to commence with the CT9 Phase 1 expansion to meet the future requirements of its shipping customers.

He said the CT9 Phase 1 expansion programme would entail the construction of the 600-metre wharf and additional terminal operating equipment such as ship-to-shore cranes and rubber tyred gantry cranes.

These additional facilities are expected to be completed by end of 2017.

In its filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said it expects its container throughput growth ranging from 7% to 10% for 2016 to be mainly driven by transshipment segment.