Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World since 2007, has assumed the role of group Chairman and CEO following the departure of Mohammed Shafar in late January.

Bin Sulayem’s acceptance of the dual role was announced on 8 February, the same day the company announced a 3 per cent growth in volume over 2014.

The company said it handled 61.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) across its global portfolio of container terminals during 2015, up from 60 TEUs handled in 2014.

DP World is further aiming to increase this volume to 100 million by 2020.

The 2015 growth was driven primarily by its European and UAE terminals, with UAE handling a record 15.6 million TEUs in 2015. Utilisation at the Jebel Ali Port also remained high at 90 per cent despite softer volumes in the last quarter of 2015, according to the company.

Bin Sulayem said he was looking forward to taking on additional responsibilities “with the objective of continuing to implement…global strategy to enable global trade and drive sustained long-term value for shareholders”.

The executive acknowledged that the second half of 2015 was difficult and that the growth was achieved despite “various economic headwinds including currency weakness and lower commodity prices adversely impacted trade growth.”

He, however, affirmed his confidence in terms of the sector’s medium- to long-term economic outlook due to the high utilisation of its portfolio, reiterating that the company will continue to invest to meet their customers’ future capacity requirements.

DP World is listed with Nasdaq Dubai and is due to announce its preliminary results for the 12 months ending 31 December 2015 on 17 March. The company reported $3.4bn revenues in 2014, handling an estimated 9 per cent of the world’s container trade, while employing more than 36,000 people.