Total revenue rose by 9.6 per cent to EUR693.7 million, partly due to a 'strong increase' in revenue from the logistics segment and despite a 'challenging market environment'.
The listed Port Logistics subgroup saw a 9.8 per cent increase in first-half revenue of EUR677.5 million, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose by 15.6 per cent to EUR105.6 million.
The company said in a statement that container throughput increased by 3.8 per cent in the first half of the year to 3.77 million TEU, especially due to the successful integration of the Tallinn terminal operator HHLA TK Estonia, which was acquired last year.
Revenue from the container segment increased by 5.6 per cent to EUR401.7 million, largely due to an increase in the rail share. EBIT rose by EUR3.6 million, or 5.3 per cent, year on year to EUR71.8 million.
HHLA's transport companies achieved significant growth in the intermodal segment. With an increase of 9.6 per cent, container transport rose to 782,000 TEU. This trend was driven by growth in both rail and road transport. Compared with the previous year, rail transport rose by 9.3 per cent to 610,000 TEU.
Road transport grew by 10.8 per cent to 172,000 TEU due to the strong increase in delivery volumes. At EUR244.1 million, revenue was up 17.4 per cent on the prior-year figure. This rise in revenue was attributed to a sustained rail share, longer transport distances compared to the previous year and price adjustments.
The operating result (EBIT) increased by 31.6 per cent to EUR50.8 million. Furthermore, lower route prices in Germany boosted the capacity utilisation of train systems.
HHLA chairwoman Angela Titzrath said: 'The results achieved in the first half of the year confirm our expectations of reaching the targets forecast for 2019. However, these results only represent one step in our strategic plan to secure the success of HHLA in the mid- and long-term future.
'In addition to the continued development of our core business and tapping into further business fields, sustainability and climate protection are integral elements of our business model.'
Looking forwards, the company said that 'due to the takeover of North America services and the first full-year consolidation of throughput volumes of the HHLA TK Estonia container terminal, HHLA expects a slight overall increase in container throughput in 2019. Slight year-on-year growth is also expected for container transport. At a group level, this should lead to a slight increase in revenue.'
Earnings for the Port Logistics subgroup will be 'shaped largely by the container and intermodal segments. Stable EBIT development on a par with the previous year is expected for the container segment, while significant growth is expected for the intermodal segment,' the statement added.