Container traffic rise buoys Westports Q4 profit

KUALA LUMPUR: Westports Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2016 rose 17% to RM155 million from RM132.55 million a year ago with an increase in container throughput.

Container throughput increased by 9% from 2.34 million to 2.55 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the period under review.

Revenue jumped 20.2% to RM573.26 million compared with RM477.01 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.
Westports has proposed to declare a second interim dividend of 6.7 sen per share.

For the full year, net profit surged 26.2% to RM636.98 million from RM504.86 million in FY15, attributable to an increase in container throughput, revision in container tariff, lower fuel cost, one-off gain on disposal of investment in securities and partially offset by property, plant and equipment written off, and impairment loss on trade receivables.

Revenue jumped 21% to RM2.04 billion from RM1.68 billion in the previous year.

Westports achieved a record container volume of 9.95 million TEUs in 2016, an improvement of 10% over the previous year’s 9.05 million TEUs.

In a filing with the stock exchange, Westports, however, said the company expects to register moderate growth in container throughput in 2017 compared with growth recorded in 2016.

The company noted that the second phase of Container Terminal 8, consisting of a 300-metre wharf and supporting terminal operating equipment and facilities, are expected to be operational by the middle of 2017, which will see its handling capacity increase to 12.5 million TEUs.

“We have commenced the first phase of Container Terminal 9, consisting of 600-metre wharf, with expected completion by December 2017,” it added.