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Covid-19 hits HPH’s H1 performance

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust) is expecting volumes to recover in H2 2020 as Chinese manufacturing is normalising after being hit hard by Covid-19 in Q1 2020.

The world’s first publicly traded container port business trust, comprising a portfolio of CK Hutchison Holdings’ terminal assets in China’s Pearl River Delta, announced on 27 July 2020 that net profit fell 17% year-on-year in H1 2020, to HK$679 million (US$87 million) as volumes at its terminals in Hong Kong and China contracted due to Covid-19.

Throughput at Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT), Huizhou International Container Terminals, Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT), COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) and Asia Container Terminals, totalled 10.28 million TEU in H1 2020, an 8% year-on-year decline.

HPH Trust said that as the pandemic spread, “City and regional lockdowns and closure of businesses in many countries, including the US and Europe, have led to a sharp deceleration of economic activities.”

With Hong Kong a major regional transhipment hub, and YICT being the premier gateway to the US and Europe, the company suffered a double-digit year-on-year fall in H1 2020.

HPH Trust, which now reports its performance every six months, said the throughput decline in the first quarter was 4% at HIT and 16% at YICT.  However, in the second quarter, the decline was significantly less, at 1% at HIT and 8% at YICT with June in particular, seeing encouraging improvement.

“HPH Trust remains vigilant about the situation and will continue to focus on operational efficiency and cost management, as evidenced by the formation of Hong Kong Seaport Alliance, to increase the competitiveness of our ports,” a trust statement.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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