DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem has made a special effort this year to put himself at the forefront of building the port and logistics group's brand, and it is an exercise that seems to be working with the release this week of the company’s 2016 financials. The figures seem to show what DP World describes as ‘a very good year’.
Revenue for the global group reached $4.2 billion, up 4.9% from the previous year, whilst the company’s profits went up by 27.6% to $1.1 billion. In all over 63.6 million TEUs were handled at DP World facilities around the globe and the Sultan was keen to point out the high points, saying:
“We are pleased to announce another set of strong financial results for 2016, as we delivered earnings in excess of $1 billion and above 50% EBITDA margins for the full year for the first time. Encouragingly, our volumes have continued to grow ahead of the market with gross volumes growing 3.2% versus the Drewry full year market estimate of 1.3%. This is pleasing given the significant challenges parts of our portfolio have faced, and once again, demonstrates the resilient nature of our diversified portfolio.
"Disciplined investment throughout the economic cycle has been one of the keys to delivering consistent growth and in 2016, we invested $1,298 million across our portfolio in markets with strong demand and supply dynamics. While 2017 is expected to be another challenging year for global trade, we have made an encouraging start to the year and we expect to continue to deliver ahead-of-market volume growth. Our aim is to continue our disciplined approach to capital allocation in markets with strong growth potential while adding complementary or related services to further diversify and strengthen our business.
“Our significant cash generation and investment partnerships leave us with a strong balance sheet and flexibility to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities in the industry. Overall, we continue to believe that a portfolio which has a 70% exposure to origin and destination cargo and 75% exposure to faster growing markets will enable us to deliver enhanced shareholder value over the long term.”
Meanwhile this past week saw the port group, together with partners Marriott, Google, UPS, Ritz-Carlton, CH2M and PwC, convene a forum to discuss harnessing employee resources to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mobilising volunteering programmes to achieve sustainable change by 2030 was the focus of the leadership workshop as part of IMPACT 2030, the only international private-sector led coalition aligning employee resources to achieve the Goals, which focus on key global issues such as poverty, inequality and climate change.
This workshop had a range of objectives, including increasing the knowledge and understanding of IMPACT 2030 to mobilise corporate volunteers to achieve the SDGs and discussing corporate volunteering in the UAE, what is in place and the challenges and opportunities. Also talked about was the exploration of the potential of Action Teams to boost employee volunteering efforts at a regional, national and international level and steps to identify how any current employee volunteering programme goals align with the SDGs.
This Leadership workshop also coincided with the ‘Year of Giving’ in the UAE that provides an opportunity for businesses to create a sense of community responsibility, to develop a spirit of volunteering and to encourage specialised volunteer programmes. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem again:
“The power of private companies to enact change is immeasurable and can be magnified by working together across sectors. The Sustainable Development Goals offer a rallying point for businesses and IMPACT 2030 can harness human resources to make a huge difference. The Leadership workshop is an exciting opportunity to agree the best path forward and we look forward to sharing the outcomes and working together to achieve sustainable change in 2017 and beyond.”
Photo: Chris Jarvis, Senior Content Advisor, Impact 2030 and private sector members in Dubai discussing employee volunteering initiatives.