Westports 4Q22 earnings up 5.5%

Container segment contributes 86% to total revenue by handling a throughput volume of 10.1m TEUs 


WESTPORTS Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2022 (4Q22) increased by 5.5% to RM235.04 million from RM222.88 million a year earlier due to investment tax allowance. 

Revenue in the said quarter rose 3.4% to RM521.14 million against RM503.9 million previously. 

The port operator told Bursa Malaysia last Friday that its earnings per share increased to 6.89 sen from 6.54 sen. 

It declared a dividend of 7.46 sen per share totalling RM254.39 million to be paid on Feb 17. 

The group’s operational revenue was up by 4% to RM511.45 million from RM494.03 million thanks to the growth in container revenue. 

However, its profit before tax declined 5% to RM251.27 million mainly due to higher fuel costs and the write-off of old port equipment. 

For the 12 months under review, Westports’ net profit fell by 13.4% to RM699.58 million from RM808.22 million in the year before amid higher fuel costs, lower sundry income and the one-off Prosperity Tax. 

Revenue in the financial year 2022 (FY22) revenue inched up 2.33% to RM2.07 billion from RM2.02 billion, due to higher operational revenue attributed to the growth in container and conventional revenue. 

Westports said the container segment contributed 86% to total revenue by handling a throughput volume of 10.05 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). 

On its prospects for 2023, Westports is projecting a low single-digit positive container throughput. “The forecast nevertheless entails a cautionary note as global economic momentum could be affected by various potentially unfavourable factors, such as higher inflation, interest rates and volatile markets,” it said. 

In a separate statement, Westports said as the year ended the container shipping’s spot freight rates normalised downward rapidly, being attuned to lower demand and much-abated supply chain constraints, the group said in a separate statement. 

It noted that China also removed its Zero Covid policy, facilitating the resumption of its manufacturing capacity for the global economies. 

“Against such a backdrop, Westports handled a container throughput of 10.05 million TEUs in 2022. The lower transhipment containers handled of 6.08 million TEUs is a part-reflection of the challenging global external conditions and the consequent container shipping companies’ operational and service adjustments.” 

Nonetheless, Westports MD Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam Abdullah said the company has declared its commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

“We took delivery of the country’s first Kalmar Eco Reachstacker, commissioned into service new electric-powered Super PostPanamax Quay Cranes with a twin-lift capacity of 55 tonnes, planted almost 500 additional trees within the terminal’s vicinity and some 550 additional mangrove trees in Pulau Indah,” he said. 

“We will continue to play our role as the leading gateway port for Malaysia and support her economic activities. To fulfil this objective even better in the coming years, the company has planned to undertake and build the mega Container Terminal from CT10 onwards after reaching a new concession agreement with the government. 

“This is Westports’ financial commitment to improving the competitiveness of Port Klang in South-East Asia also as a transhipment hub,” he added.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition