45. Lease liabilities

Obligations under finance leases

The Group has concluded various finance lease and hire-purchase agreements for a number of properties, technical equipment, and operating and office equipment. These agreements relate to, among other things, quay walls, lifting and ground-handling vehicles, container wagons and chassis, as well as IT hardware. For the most part, the contracts include renewal options and, in some cases, a put options. The renewal options are always for the lessee; the put options can be used by the respective lessor to force a sale.

The main obligations from finance leases result from the lease of mega-ship berths from Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), which owns the port areas and is a related party, see Note 48. The fixed lease initially runs until 2036, but HHLA anticipates that the lease terms of these assets will extend over 50 years, as in the past. The contracts make provisions for the allocation of liability in the event of nullity and the associated premature termination of the lease as a result of conflict with EU law. The Executive Board of HHLA believes the risk of a conflict with EU law is currently very low. Following the completion of a present value test, the mega-ship berth leases are to be classified as finance lease obligations according to 17. Including expected increases in rent payment rates, this results in anticipated minimum lease payments of € 227,762 thousand (previous year: € 232,394 thousand).

Reconciliation between future minimum lease payments and their liabilities

in € thousand





Within one year





Between one and five years





Over five years





Total minimum lease payments





Within one year





Between one and five years





Over five years





Liabilities from finance leases





Interest expenses from minimum lease payments





The minimum lease payments include interest due to the long terms of the finance leases. The underlying interest rate is 4.21 to 4.22 %, see also Note 47.

In addition to the minimum lease payments shown, a company that does not belong to the group of consolidated companies will, from the 2019 financial year, have payment obligations from finance leases due to a licensing agreement concluded in the reporting period in respect of a in the amount of € 72.0 million. Of this, € 1.6 million relates to a period within a year, € 9.6 million to a period between one and five years and € 60.8 million to a period of more than five years.

Liabilities from operating leases where the Group is lessee

Contracts exist between the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and/or HPA and the HHLA Group for the lease of land and quay walls in the Port of Hamburg and in the Speicherstadt historical warehouse district by companies in the HHLA Group. The main contracts expire between 2025 and 2036. Under the terms of the contracts, the lease payments are generally reviewed every five years on the basis of price developments in relevant competing ports or based on appropriate rental indices. Provisions are made for the anticipated increases in lease payments. Leasing expenses for the space in the Speicherstadt historical warehouse district are partly linked to the development of Group income from subletting these buildings.

Without the prior approval of the lessor, the leased areas and the buildings on them belonging to HHLA may not be sold or let. Major changes to the terms of subletting agreements also require the approval of the lessor.

There are also leases relating to real estate and movable property at the container terminal in Odessa, Ukraine. On the whole, the rents payable for this are fixed and will only change during the course of the agreement as a result of future inflation. The company will not have purchase options at the end of the lease agreements. The respective lease agreements have remaining terms of between 1 and 33 years.

The Group also has leases for various motor vehicles and items of technical equipment. These leases have an average term of three to ten years and generally do not include renewal options. The lessee takes on no obligations when signing these leases.

Future minimum lease payments obligations under uncancellable operating leases

in € thousand





Within one year





Between one and five years





Over five years










The information included conditional rental payments in the amount of € 113 million (previous year: € 114 million).

Expenses of € 58,295 thousand (previous year: € 53,829 thousand) were incurred for leases in the financial year. Of this figure, € 2,219 thousand (previous year: € 2,085 thousand) related to conditional rental payments.

Operating leases where the Group is lessor

The Group has signed leases for letting its properties on a commercial basis. The investment properties consist of office space, facilities and a commercial property not used by the Group. These leases have remaining uncancellable lease terms of between 1 and 16 years. After the end of the uncancellable lease period, some contracts give tenants the option of extending the lease for a period of between two years and a maximum of three times five years. Some leases contain a clause under which the rent can be increased in line with market conditions.

Future minimum lease entitlements under uncancellable operating leases for investment property

in € thousand





Within one year





Between one and five years





Over five years










In the financial year, income of € 59,611 thousand (previous year: € 58,676 thousand) was earned from letting property, plant and equipment and investment property.


International Accounting Standards.


In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.


Payments for investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets.