DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — DP World, the Dubai-based international port operator, said Thursday its profit rose 12 percent in 2014, a year in which it assumed ownership of a sister company that runs free-trade zones in the Gulf emirate.
The government-backed company said it earned $675 million in profit attributable to its owners last year, up from $604 million in 2013.
DP World ranks among the world's largest port operators, with business at more than 65 marine terminals globally.
It is heavily focused on fast-growing developing markets, and it runs the Middle East's busiest port, Dubai's Jebel Ali. Its portfolio also includes the new London Gateway port in Britain and Embraport in Brazil.
Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said the company is off to an "encouraging start" for 2015, though he acknowledged that "macro-economic conditions and geopolitical issues across some locations remain uncertain."
DP World reported that revenue for 2014 rose 11 percent to $3.41 billion.
Over the course of the year, DP World expanded capacity at its flagship Jebel Ali port and continued work on new facilities expected to come online in 2015 in India, Turkey and the Netherlands. It spent $807 million in investments last year and expects to spend a further $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion on new capital expenditures in 2015.
Separately, DP World shareholders in December approved a decision to acquire Dubai government-linked free-trade zone operator Economic Zones World for $2.6 billion. It has said the deal should help streamline operations at Jebel Ali and boost its earnings by 15 percent.
The company pulled its stock listing from the London Stock Exchange in January of this year because few investors were trading its shares on that bourse. They continue to trade on the Nasdaq Dubai.
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