Dalian Port, operator of the mainland's biggest crude oil terminal, expects the global financial crisis to continue to have a deep impact on the logistics industry.
The bearish outlook came as the company said net profit increased 27.5 per cent last year to 779.61 million yuan (HK$883.9 million) on the disposal of fixed assets such as property, plant and equipment.
Revenue grew a mere 1 per cent to 1.59 billion yuan.
A final dividend of 9 fen per share will be declared, up from 2007's 8 fen per share.
Gross profit margin fell to 44.4 per cent from 50.4 per cent in 2007.
Dalian Port's net profit was 3 per cent less than the 804.08 million yuan mean estimate of 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
As international trade declined sharply in the fourth quarter amid the global financial turmoil, Dalian Port's container throughput growth slowed to 13.2 per cent last year, from 18 per cent in 2006 and 2007.
The group is principally engaged in four segments, - oil or liquefied chemicals terminals and related logistics services, container terminal and related logistics services, automobile terminal and related logistics services, and value-added port services.
'The global economy is expected to face more serious challenges,' said the company in a statement posted on Hong Kong stock exchange.
Last year, the group's share of loss in relation to its car terminal and logistics services totalled 10.34 million yuan, a rise of 7.63 million yuan from 2007. The company said crude oil prices rose significantly in the first half of last year and fell sharply in the second half.
The mainland imported 179 million tonnes of crude oil last year, an increase of 9.6 per cent over 2007.
'However, the growth rate was lower than the average growth of 13.2 per cent for the past two years,' the company said.
Dalian Port said it would take measures, such as enhancing cooperation with strategic business partners, to minimise the impact of the global financial crisis.
Earlier this month, Dalian Port entered into a joint-venture agreement with oil and gas giant PetroChina and Dalian Construction Investment to construct and operate a liquefied-natural-gas terminal in Dalian.
Dalian Port will have a 20 per cent stake in the multi-billion yuan project.
Boost from disposals
Dalian Port said net profit rose last year on the disposal of fixed assets by: 27.5%