45. Leases

Leases as a lessee

For further information about leases within the HHLA Group, please see Notes 6, 12, 14, 16, 23, 38 and 40.

Basic recognition of leases

Pursuant to 16, all leases are to be recognised on the balance sheet. The following significant leases currently exist within the HHLA Group:

The Group has concluded various lease agreements for a number of properties, technical facilities, and operating and office equipment. Among other things, these agreements relate to land, quay walls, lifting and ground-handling vehicles, container wagons and chassis, as well as IT hardware. In some cases, they include renewal and put options. The renewal options are always for the lessee; the put options can be used by the respective lessor to force a sale.

Leases recognised under liabilities to related parties

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 agreements 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.

Agreements 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 agreements expire between 2025 and 2036. Under the terms of the agreements, 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. The expected rent increases for the past periods are included in the liabilities from leases. The rent increases for 2020 have been postponed to July 1, 2021. The postponement did not have any material impact on the consolidated financial statements. 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 may not be relet 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.

Leases recognised under non-current and current financial liabilities

There are also leases relating to real estate and movable property at the container 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. The METRANS Group also rents a terminal facility for a period of 30 years as part of a concession agreement.

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 in the income statement:

Leases in the income statement

in T€





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 recognized when measuring the lease liability:

Future unrecognized cash outflows

in € thousand





Future variable lease payments





Extension and termination options





Residual value guarantees





Leases not yet begun










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 15 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 € 58,504 thousand (previous year: € 61,552 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 € 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










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


International financial reporting 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.