The Emirati state-owned port operator DP World reported major profit losses for 2020.
The Dubai-based maritime and logistics giant’s profits dropped 29% to around $846 million last year. At the end of 2019, the profits were more than $1.18 billion, according to DP World’s annual report.
DP World took a major hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, DP World delisted from the Dubai Stock Exchange and returned to full state ownership. The company’s CEO has remained optimistic throughout the coronavirus saga, which has severely hurt Gulf economies.
“In this different world, our focus on innovation and technology has made our business more resilient than ever,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem in the report.
DP World received more positive news toward the end of 2020. The amount of containers the firm handled increased 7.6% in the fourth quarter of last year.
DP World could also stand to benefit from the normalization agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Last September, it partnered with an Israeli company to establish a direct trade route between the two states.
The report is a further indication of the damage the pandemic caused to the economies of the UAE and other Gulf states. The downturn in global travel and falling oil prices last year in particular hurt the region. Regional states are focusing more on economic diversification away from oil in the aftermath of the virus.