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Germany’s HHLA cautious on Russian trade prospects
German port logistics group HHLA warned its aim of keeping earnings stable this year was ambitious in light of uncertain trade prospects with Russia, a crisis in the container shipping industry and transport bottlenecks along the Elbe river.
The comments sent its shares down almost 12 percent on Thursday to their lowest in more than five years.
Chief Executive Klaus-Dieter Peters said at the company’s annual results news conference that he still expected 2014 revenue to grow slightly.
HHLA is the largest container shipping terminal in Hamburg, a major seaport and transportation hub for eastern European trade, and economic sanctions against Russia would hurt its business.
It also operates a container terminal in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed a bailout deal for Ukraine on Thursday and Peters said HHLA also saw improved prospects for Odessa.
“The IMF bailout hopefully will help Ukraine to get back on its feet,” Peters said.
HHLA’s 2013 net profit slumped about 25 percent to 54 million euros ($74.44 million). Sales rose 2.4 percent to 1.16 billion euros.
Its shares fell as much as 12 percent to 17.27 euros on Thursday, their lowest since November 2008, underperforming the German small cap index SDAX which was slightly lower.
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