Westports 3Q net profit up 12% on higher container volume, tariff hike

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 5): Westports Holdings Bhd's net profit rose 11.9% to RM159.24 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 (3QFY19) from RM142.32 million a year ago, on increased container throughput and the implementation of a container tariff hike effective March.

This resulted in a higher earnings per share of 4.67 sen for 3QFY19 compared with 4.17 sen for 3QFY18.

Revenue for the quarter also increased 10.3% to RM460.43 million from RM417.55 million a year ago.

In a statement today, Westports said it handled 2.77 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of containers in 3QFY19. Transhipment containers increased to 1.85 million TEUs while gateway boxes grew to 920,000 TEUs. 

This strong quarterly performance lifted the group's net profit for the cumulative nine months (9MFY19) by 20% to RM465.46 million from RM387.93 million a year ago, while revenue was up 11.1% to RM1.33 billion from RM1.2 billion in 9MFY18. 

Westports handled 8.04 million TEUs in 9MFY19, up 16% from 9MFY18, and accounting for 80% of Port Klang’s overall container throughput. It attributed the higher container volume to improved transhipment containers, which improved to 5.39 million TEUs, while gateway volume expanded to 2.65 million TEUs.

Westports group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam expects container throughput to register a double-digit percentage growth rate in 2019, to handle a record of more than 10 million TEUs.

"In order to support our clients’ growth and the industry’s trend of deploying ever larger ultra large container vessels, Westports is planning for a multi-billion container terminal expansion that would double our total terminal handling capacity. The significant investments required would be funded by Westports and financings raised from the capital markets," he said.

At the midday break today, Westports shares settled at RM4.35, valuing it at RM14.83 billion.