KUCHING: Westports Holdings Bhd’s (Westports) earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16) ended December 2016 gained by 17 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM155 million from RM132.55 million recorded in 4Q15 ended December 2015.
The port operator in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday said 4Q16 revenue increased by 20.2 per cent y-o-y to RM573.26 million from RM477 million generated in 4Q15. For financial year 2016 (FY16) ended December 2016, Westports said revenue rose by 21 per cent y-o-y to RM2.04 billion while net profit grew by 26 per cent y-o-y to RM636.98 million.
Meanwhile, Westports in a statement said the group’s FY16 operational revenue improved by 14 per cent to RM1.8 billion from the previous year as both the container and conventional operations contributed to the group’s improved financial performance.
Westports revealed that the group has achieved another milestone by handling a record container volume of 9.95 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016, which was an improvement of 10 per cent over the previous year’s 9.05 million TEUs, which was also a record volume then.
It explained that the continued strong growth of transhipment containers underpinned the record-breaking momentum as Westports support, especially, regional trading requirements.
Apart from that, the company noted gateway volume complemented by achieving much-improved growth in the latter part of the year as Westports continued to facilitate domestic economic activities with the volume of laden export containers increasing by six per cent in 2016 while laden import containers were growing more moderately by one per cent. It disclosed that Westports accounted for 76 per cent of the total containers that were handled at Port Klang in 2016.
Conventional throughput in 2016 increased by 15 per cent to 11.8 million tonnes as Westports handled a higher volume of dry bulk commodities such as sugar, imported grains and fertiliser.
Break bulk tonnages which came through the port, such as steel products and project cargoes, for domestic applications and economic activities have also increased.
Moreover, Westports said bunker operations contributed to the improved throughput at the liquid bulk facility.
Commenting on the group’s 4Q16 and FY16 results performance, Westports chief executive officer (CEO) Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said“Our record-breaking financial and operational performance is gratifying, and it reflected the results of our relentless commitment towards accommodating growing requirements from our customers.
“Over the course of 2016, Westports has also benefited from shipping clients’ ad-hoc handling requirements as they introduced larger vessels into their existing container shipping services.
“The record container volume handled and active terminal utilisation of the recently completed container terminal eight (CT8) Phase 1 facilitated the need to commence with CT9 Phase 1 expansion to meet the future requirements of our shipping customers and also raise the overall terminal handling capacity at Port Klang.
“The CT9 Phase 1 expansion will entail the construction of an additional 600-metre wharf and new Terminal Operating Equipment such as Ship-To-Shore Cranes and Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes”
“Westports has grown tremendously over the last two decades by supporting our shipping clients’ regional transhipment requirements and facilitating domestic economic activities,” he said.
Furthermore, Westports believed the impending realignment in the container shipping industry this year will result in a lesser number of but significantly larger alliances.
It opined that the larger alliances would also optimise their port of calls and services as those larger alliances optimise their network and services.
Westports stressed that it has always been a supply-driven terminal and to service these bigger alliances; we trust that our added terminal handling capacity would be able to meet their requirements when their vessels call at Westports.
Gnanalingam added, “The recognition by Global Ports Forum, with its acclaimed award, of Westports for being the ‘Port or Terminal of the Year – Southeast Asia 2017’ is an added endorsement from the industry for our relentless focus on operational excellence as we continue fulfilling our vision of being an immensely successful gateway port for Malaysia and also being a transhipment hub especially for the Southeast Asia region.
“It is also with much gratitude that during the same gala award in Dubai, the Global Ports Forum has conferred the executive chairman of Westports, Tan Sri Datuk G. Gnanalingam, the ‘Life Time Achievement in Port or Terminal Industry’.