Earnings position

Key figures

in € million


1–6 | 2021


1–6 | 2020









12.8 %







25.8 %

EBITDA margin in %






2.6 pp







63.2 %

EBIT margin in %






4.0 pp

Profit after tax and minority interests






175.1 %

ROCE in %






3.1 pp

HHLA’s performance data benefited from the economic recovery to varying degrees in the first half of 2021. Container throughput increased slightly by 0.7 % year-on-year to 3,369 thousand TEU (previous year: 3,345 thousand TEU) due to moderate growth in cargo volumes for Far East services, which more than offset the pandemic-related volume shortfalls in the previous year and the loss of a Far East service in May 2020. The international terminals recorded moderate growth in throughput volumes during the reporting period.

Container transport increased strongly by 16.0 % to 832 thousand TEU (previous year: 718 thousand TEU). Rail continued to benefit more than road from the recovery in freight volumes that already began in the second half of 2020.

The HHLA Group’s revenue rose by 12.8 % to € 709.2 million in the reporting period (previous year: € 628.4 million). This was mainly the result of a temporary spike in storage fees in the Container segment caused by ongoing ship delays and the blocking of the Suez Canal, as well by the pandemic-related low comparative base of the previous year.

In its Container, Intermodal and Logistics segments, the listed Port Logistics subgroup generated revenue of € 695.1 million in the reporting period (previous year: € 614.2 million). This increase was largely in line with the trend for the Group as a whole. The non-listed Real Estate subgroup posted revenue of € 18.4 million (previous year: € 18.0 million).

Changes in inventories of € 1.6 million (previous year: € 0.6 million) largely resulted from the first-time consolidation of iSAM AG. During the reporting period, own work capitalised amounted to € 2.1 million (previous year: € 2.2 million).

Other operating income decreased by 12.2 % to € 19.6 million (previous year: € 22.3 million). In the previous year, a liability from a contingent consideration agreed as part of the acquisition of Bionic Production GmbH was derecognised in profit and loss as a result of a new agreement with the seller. This amount had a significant effect on the decrease in other operating income.

Operating expenses rose by 7.3 % to € 641.9 million (previous year: € 598.0 million). There were significant differences in the development of the various expenses: while depreciation and amortisation showed a slight increase, there was a significant rise in the cost of materials and personnel expenses and a strong increase in other operating expenses.

The cost of materials rose by 8.5 % to € 202.0 million during the reporting period (previous year: € 186.1 million). In addition to higher volumes in container transport, the increase also resulted from the consolidation of HHLA PLT Italy and iSAM AG, as well as the increased storage load in the Container segment. The cost of materials ratio fell to 28.5 % (previous year: 29.6 %).

There was a significant year-on-year increase of 7.1 % in personnel expenses to € 278.4 million (previous year: € 260.0 million). This was due to the increase in headcount caused by the expansion of operations in rail transport and new activities. The personnel expense ratio decreased to 39.3 % (previous year: 41.4 %).

Other operating expenses rose strongly by 12.6 % to € 75.8 million in the reporting period (previous year: € 67.3 million). This was due to an increase in expenses for consultancy and services for ongoing projects, primarily the restructuring of the Container segment and new activities in the Logistics segment. The ratio of expenses to revenue remained unchanged at 10.7 %.

The operating result before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 25.8 % to € 176.2 million (previous year: € 140.1 million). This was mainly influenced by the temporary increase in storage fees. The EBITDA margin rose to 24.9 % during the reporting period (previous year: 22.3 %).

Depreciation and amortisation increased slightly to € 85.7 million (previous year: € 84.6 million), awhile its ratio to revenue decreased to 12.1 % (previous year: 13.5 %).

There was a strong increase in the operating result (EBIT) of € 35.0 million or 63.2 % to € 90.5 million during the reporting period (previous year: € 55.5 million). The EBIT margin amounted to 12.8 % (previous year: 8.8 %). In the Port Logistics subgroup, EBIT rose by 70.4 % to € 83.8 million (previous year: € 49.1 million). In the Real Estate subgroup, EBIT climbed 7.1 % to € 6.6 million (previous year: € 6.1 million).

Net expenses from the financial result fell by € 4.1 million or 23.1 % to € 13.6 million (previous year: € 17.7 million). This was mainly due to the decrease in interest expenses.

At 31.8 %, the Group’s effective tax rate was up on the prior-year figure (previous year: 30.9 %).

Profit after tax increased by 101.0 %, from € 26.1 million to € 52.5 million. There was a strong year-on-year increase in profit after tax and minority interests to € 38.8 million (previous year: € 14.1 million). Earnings per share amounted to € 0.52 (previous year: € 0.19). The listed Port Logistics subgroup achieved earnings per share of € 0.49 (previous year: € 0.15). Earnings per share of the non-listed Real Estate subgroup were also up year-on-year to € 1.45 (previous year: € 1.27). The return on capital employed (ROCE) amounted to 8.5 % (previous year: 5.4 %).