DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Port operator DP World on Thursday announced profits of $883 million attributable to its owners for 2015, up 30.7 percent from the year before buoyed by its purchase of the Dubai government-linked free-trade zone operator Economic Zones World.
The Dubai-based company said it remains open to future acquisitions in the year ahead, but acknowledged the slowdown in cargo shipping from the global economic slowdown.
"In our business, we are flexible. We have enough cash to take care of opportunities," DP World's chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told journalists on a conference call. "We don't have a plan to say, 'In 2016, I'm going to acquire X-amount of ports.' It's the other way around. If the opportunity arises because of need and necessity, purchases will happen."
In its results, DP World said its full-year revenues for 2015 were $3.9 billion, up 16.3 percent compared to revenues of $3.4 billion in 2014. It recorded $675 million in profit attributable to its owners in 2014.
Sulayem attributed some of that 2015 growth to the $2.6-billion acquisition of Economic Zones World, which runs the vast Jebel Ali free zone complex in Dubai. At the time of its acquisition, DP World said its purchase could boost its earnings by 15 percent.
Sulayem also mentioned a trip he took to Iran, but said there were no immediate plans to expand into that market.
DP World, majority-owned by the Dubai government through its Dubai World conglomerate, ranks among the world's largest port operators, with business at 70 marine terminals in 31 countries. Shares in the company rose nearly 9 percent Thursday on the Nasdaq Dubai, trading at around 19 dirhams ($5.17).
DP World: www.dpworld.com
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