Corporate and value management

HHLA’s primary financial objectives include the long-term, sustainable growth of its enterprise value. HHLA uses a Group-wide value management system for the planning, management and monitoring of its commercial activities. No changes were made to this system in the 2020 financial year.

Financial performance indicators

The key operational management parameters used by the HHLA Group are the operating result () and the (capital employed). EBIT and capital expenditure as key drivers of the average capital employed are the main intra-year and short-term performance indicators. Return on capital employed () is calculated for the measurement of long-term, value-oriented performance and is also used to determine the annual . The HHLA Group calculates ROCE as a ratio of the operating result and the average operating assets used.

Value management

ROCE – defining parameters and influential factors

Value management (diagram)

Commercial activities are generally regarded as value-generating if ROCE exceeds the and they make a positive value contribution. Such capital costs correspond to the weighted average of equity costs and the cost of borrowed capital. As in the previous year, HHLA used a weighted average cost of capital of 8.5 % before tax to calculate value growth at Group level in the 2020 financial year. This minimum interest rate reflects the Executive Board’s assessment of a medium- to long-term rate of return arising from a balanced relationship between equity and borrowed capital. This approach avoids short-term fluctuations in interest rates on the capital markets that may distort the information provided by the value management system.


ROCE –Bestimmungsgrößen und Einflussfaktoren

Despite the challenging economic environment and the global coronavirus pandemic, the HHLA Group generated a positive EBIT result of € 123.6 million (previous year: € 221.2 million) in the 2020 financial year. The year-on-year decrease in amounted to approximately 44 %. Earnings position

Average operating assets rose slightly by 2.1 % to € 2,081.3 million (previous year: € 2,039.4 million) in the reporting period. Financial position

At 5.9 % (previous year: 10.8 %), return on capital employed failed to reach the targeted long-term rate of return of 8.5 %. This resulted in a negative value added of € 53.3 million for the 2020 financial year (previous year: € +47.9 million).

Key figures value added

in € million







Operating income






- 5.5 %

Operating expenses


- 1,231.7


- 1,213.3


1.5 %







- 44.1 %

Ø Net non-current assets






2.5 %

Ø Net current assets






- 6.0 %

Ø Operating assets






2.1 %

ROCE in %






- 4.9 pp

Capital costs before tax1 in %






0 pp

Capital costs before tax






2.1 %

Value added in %


- 2.6




- 4.9 pp

Value added


- 53.3






Of which 5.0 % for the Real Estate subgroup

Non-financial performance indicators

The main non-financial performance indicators are container throughput and container transport volumes. In addition to the continuous dialogue that HHLA maintains with its customers, the company makes extensive use of macroeconomic forecasts as early indicators for volume trends and its operating activities. These include the anticipated development of gross domestic product for important trading partners and the subsequent estimates for foreign trade and import/export flows, as well as for container traffic on relevant routes and changes in the correlation between gross domestic product and containerised trading volumes.


Earnings before interest and taxes.

Average operating assets

Average net non-current assets (intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, investment property) + average net current assets (inventories + trade receivables – trade liabilities).

ROCE (return on capital employed before taxes)

EBIT / Average operating assets.

Value added

Production value – intermediate inputs (cost of materials, depreciation and amortisation, and other operating expenses); the value added generated is shared between the HHLA Group’s stakeholders, such as employees, shareholders, lenders and the local community.

Cost of capital

Expenses associated with the use of funds as equity or borrowed capital.


Earnings before interest and taxes.