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Supply Chain

Logistics Firm HHLA Feels The Impact Of COVID-19 On Its Operations

Logistics giant Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) saw consolidated sales fall 9.4% in the first half of its financial year, due to the effect of COVID-19 on the transport and logistics sectors.

HHLA, which operates most of the Port of Hamburg as well as extensive container operations, posted sales of €628.4 million in the half-year period, compared to €693.7 million in the same period last year.

Operating profit more than halved to stand at €55.5 million for the period.

'Unprecedented Challenges'

Commenting on its performance, Angela Titzrath, HHLA chief executive, said that the business has faced "unprecedented challenges" as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

"As a system-relevant company in the logistics chain, we have always lived up to our responsibility and have made a reliable contribution to supplying Germany and Europe," she said. "With responsible cost reductions and a reluctance to invest, we have tried to absorb the strong effects of the crisis on our business development and to be prepared when the situation eases again.

"We are currently assuming a gradual recovery in the second half of the year. Regardless of the ongoing challenges that demand a lot from us, we continue to work on strengthening the future viability of HHLA."

Port Logistics

Its core Port Logistics subgroup posted a decline in sales of 9.3% to €614.2 million in the period, with operating profit down 53.5%.

Container volume at its HHLA container terminals fell by 11.3% to 3.34 million TEU, compared to 3.77 TEU in the same period last year.

Looking ahead, HHLA said that while a 'reliable forecast is not possible under the current conditions', it added that it expects sales and operating profit in its Port Logistics arm to be 'significantly below' that of the previous year.

'The primary cause for this are possible, at least temporarily, strong declines in container handling and transport,' it said.

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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