EUROGATE presented its operating figures for 2006. Once again in the closed fiscal year, the success course of the past years continued. The European market leader increased revenue by 7.1% to EUR 560 million (previous year: EUR 523 million). Equity rose by 7.4% to EUR 174 million (previous year: EUR 162 million) and total assets by 11% to EUR 632 million (previous year: EUR 570 million).
The closed fiscal year kicked off with a number of challenges. The takeover of the P&O Nedlloyd shipping line by Maersk Line and the accompanying structural changes in container shipping services led to shifts in container volumes between individual terminal facilities. The container terminals in Bremerhaven, for example, recorded excellent volume growth of 18.7% to 4.4 million teus. In Hamburg, the “New World Alliance” consortium moved from EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg to the HHLA Terminal Altenwerder. Although the Hamburg EUROGATE terminal was able to offset this drop in freight rates in the course of the year, overall handling volumes nevertheless stagnated at the previous year’s level of 2.5 million teus.
The Italian Contship Italia Group, in which EUROGATE has a 33.4% shareholding, was also affected by the restructuring of the shipping lines and similarly registered fluctuations in volume growth. The Italian terminals stagnated at 5.4 million teus, a slight drop of 2.1% over the previous year. Overall, the EUROGATE Group posted earnings before taxes (EBT) of EUR 84.7 million in 2006, almost 4% higher than in the previous year (previous year: EUR 81.5 million).
Strong volume growth in Q1 2007
At the beginning of 2007, the continued boom in container shipping was stronger than ever. In Q1 2007, the EUROGATE container terminals recorded a considerable rise in volume of 16.7% to 3.4 million teus (previous year: 2.9 million teus). At its German locations, the Group showed an increase of 12.1% to 1.9 million teus (previous year: 1.7 million teus), the Italian locations even posted a rise of 23.4% to 1.5 million teus (previous year: 1.2 million teus).
Since this trend can be expected to continue over the long term, speedy realization of the planned expansion projects both in Germany and in Italy is imperative. These are necessary to secure the future of Germany and Italy as port locations as well as the accompanying jobs. “We cannot afford to lose time when it comes to realizing such decisive infrastructure projects as the deepening of the shipping channel in the Weser and Elbe,” says Emanuel Schiffer,
Chairman of EUROGATE Group’s Management Board. “We urgently need the support of all those who wield political clout. They must act in concert. That goes for development projects such as the expansion of port areas, the creation of new shipping berths and the expansion of hinterland links. Our customers, the global container shipping lines, expect an efficient infrastructure and sufficient handling capacities at the terminal facilities. At the latest with the maiden voyage of the world’s largest container vessel, the Emma Maersk in September 2006, container shipping arrived in the future. There’s no time to lose.”
Total investments amounting to EUR 750 million by 2011
EUROGATE is planning total investments amounting to EUR 750 million in the expansion of terminal facilities. This includes the CT4 project in Bremerhaven, the westward expansion in Hamburg and the JadeWeserPort container terminal in Wilhelmshaven, as well as the construction of the EUROGATE Tanger container terminal in Morocco.
Personnel development continues: 400 additional jobs in 2007
The growth in container handling has long-term effects on the employment situation. Whereas in 2005 the German locations employed 4,020 staff, this figure had increased to 4,256 by the end of 2006, 236 more than in the previous year.
Up to 2011, EUROGATE is planning to recruit 1,400 new employees, creating 400 new jobs in 2007 alone. These will be distributed equally between the Bremen/Bremerhaven and Hamburg locations. In