Westports chief executive officer Ruben Emir Gnanalingam highlighted the port's container operations is currently handling throughput of 6.8 million TEUs. NST photo by ADI SAFRI

KUALA LUMPUR: Westports Holdings Bhd net profits declined 0.14 per cent to RM150.82 million for the third quarter ended September 2017 from RM151.03 million posted a year ago, dented by lower container throughput and higher fuel cost.

In its filing to Bursa Malaysia today, the port operator said third quarter revenue, however, was 3.8 per cent higher at RM492.28million from RM474.41 million, a year ago.

For the nine months ended September 2017, Westports' net profits drop 8.6 per cent to RM440.53 million from RM481.98 million a year ago.

Revenue for the nine months increased by 3.6 per cent to RM1.51 billion from RM1.46 billion previously.

Separately, in a statement, Westports chief executive officer Ruben Emir Gnanalingam highlighted the port's container operations handled a total throughput of 6.8 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) during the nine months ended September 2017.

Gateway containers, which reflected favourable domestic economic activities growth, increased by 8 per cent.

Ruben explained the container shipping industry has just gone through unprecedented recalibration and realignment processes which affected almost all major liners.

“At Westports, we now serve as one of the southeast Asia transshipment hubs for Ocean Alliance and also as a port of call for a service under THE Alliance.

"The industry’s recent mergers and acquisitions have affected our container volume handled, especially of transshipment boxes. Westports has, therefore, transitioned successfully towards serving new services under Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance,” he said.

On container terminal expansion, Gnanalingam said construction work at Container Terminal 8 (CT8) has been completed and work is starting on CT9.

“With the added wharf and new fleet of Terminal Operating Equipment, Westports' container handling capacity has increased to 13 million TEUs per annum," he said.

"To further strengthen Port Klang as the pre-eminent port for the nation’s gateway trade and a transshipment hub in the region, Westports has received an Approval in-Principle [from the Malaysian government] to expand the container terminal facilities from CT10 to CT19,” he added.

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