45. Leases

Leases as a lessee

For further information about leases within the HHLA Group, please see Notes 12, 14, 16, 23, 38 and 40.

Previous finance leases

The Group has concluded various leases for a number of properties, technical equipment, and operating and office equipment. These agreements relate to, among other things, land, 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, 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 Group rents mega-ship berths from the owner of the port areas, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), which 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.

The METRANS Group rents a facility for a period of 30 years as part of a concession agreement.

Previous operating leases

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.

There are also significant leases for real estate at the container terminal in Tallinn, Estonia. 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 will expire in 2062.

The METRANS Group has concluded lease agreements for various motor vehicles and items of technical equipment. These leases have an average term of three to ten years and some include renewal options. The leases concluded for individual items of real estate have a term of up to 30 years and some of them also include renewal options. The lessee takes on no obligations when signing these leases.

Future consideration of existing and new leases

Until 31 December 2018, leases were measured and recognised in accordance with the requirements of 17 and IFRIC 4. This resulted in a distinction being made between operating and finance leases and whether they are recognised in profit and loss or in the balance sheet.

As of 1 January 2019, the previous requirements have been replaced by 16. According to this standard, all leases are to be recognised on the balance sheet. For more details, please see the explanations under Note 5 and Note 6.

Short-term lease agreements and leases for low-value assets

The Group rents technical equipment, motor vehicles, IT equipment, office furniture, etc. over terms of between one and three years. These lease agreements are either short term or (and) pertain to items of low value. In such cases, HHLA reports neither the rights of use nor lease liabilities. The following table shows the effects of leases on the income statement and other comprehensive income:

Leases in the income statement

in € thousand



Cost of materials and other operating expenses



Expenses from non-current leases



Expenses from leases for low-value assets



Expenses from variable lease payments



Amortisation and depreciation



Amortisation and depreciation of rights of use



Financial result



Interest expenses from leasing liabilities



Future unrecognized cash outflows

The table below shows the future cash outflows which may be incurred by the lessee and which may not have been recognised when measuring the lease liability:

Future unrecognized cash outflows

in € thousand



Future variable lease payments



Extension and termination options



Residual value guarantees






Leases as a lessor

The Group has signed lease agreements for letting its properties on a commercial basis, see Note 24. HHLA has categorised these leases as operating leases because virtually none of the risks and potential rewards associated with ownership are transferred to the Group. 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.

In the financial year, income of € 61,552 thousand (previous year: € 59,611 thousand) was earned from letting property, plant and equipment and investment property.

The table below is a maturity analysis of the receivables from operating leases and shows the undiscounted lease payments to be received after the end of the reporting period.

Due dates of receivables from operating leases in accordance with IFRS 16 as of 31 December 2019

in € thousand



Up to 1 year



1 year to 2 years



2 years to 3 years



3 years to 4 years



4 years to 5 years



Over 5 years






Due dates of receivables from operating leases in accordance with IAS 17 as of 31 December 2018

in € thousand



Up to 1 year



1 year to 5 years



Over 5 years






From the lessor’s perspective, there are no lease agreements categorised as finance leases.


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


International accounting standards.


International financial reporting standards.


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