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DP World cautions outlook uncertain after record first-half profit

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Dubai-owned ports giant DP World reported on Thursday a record $721 million first-half profit boosted by elevated shipping rates but said it expected its profit, revenue and container growth rates to moderate in the rest of the year.

The company, one of the world’s biggest port operators, said profit climbed 51.8 per cent, up from $475 million in the same period a year ago.

The shipping industry has seen record profits recently due to tight shipping supply caused by a surge in consumer demand and pandemic-linked supply chain disruptions.

DP World, which also owns logistics parks, handled 39.48 million shipping containers in the first half, a year-on-year growth of 2.3 per cent.

But the ports giant, which saw first-half revenue rise 60.4 per cent to $7.9 billion, said it expected its growth rates to moderate in the second half amid an uncertain near-term outlook.

Chairman and Chief Executive Sultan Ahmed bin Ahmed cited a “more challenging macro and geopolitical environment” but said DP World was “well placed” to deliver improved full-year results following the strong year so far.

“Nevertheless, we remain positive on the medium to long-term fundamentals of the industry and DP World’s ability to continue to deliver sustainable returns,” he said in a statement.

Danish shipping firm Maersk this month raised its guidance for a second time, expecting supply chain issues that have boosted freight rates would last longer than expected.

DP World’s caution comes amid concerns the global economy may be heading towards recession, in part due to high inflation and the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The IMF said last month those risks were materialising as it cut its global growth forecast for this year to 3.2 per cent.

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