Dubai-based port operator DP World handled 49.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) across its portfolio of 50 terminals in 2010.

This is a 14 per cent increase on the total volume of TEUs handled in 2009.

The UAE handled 11.6 million TEUs in 2010, which was a 4 per cent rise on 2009 volumes. The fourth quarter of 2010 showed a seven per cent growth, handling more than three million TEUs. The performance in the second half of 2010 is similar the peak levels seen in 2008, with a total of 6.1 million TEUs.

The growth is attributed to the new terminal volumes from Qingdao in China and Callao in Peru which both became operational in 2010. Volume growth was also driven by strong performances in Australia, America and Asia-Pacific, as well as the continuing return of volumes to Europe.

In December 2010, DP World also announced that it sold the majority of its business in Australia for $1.5bn, with the transaction set to be finalised by the end of the first quarter of 2011 (MEED 23:12:10).

Under the terms of the deal, DP World will keep a 25 per cent stake in its Australian port operations and will continue to manage the ports in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle.

Mohammed Sharaf, chief executive of DP World, says he expects the firm to report full-year financial results in line with expectations and well ahead of 2009 results.