Shanghai International Port , the operator of the world's busiest container port, reported earnings on Wednesday that showed its second-quarter net profit fell 2.5 percent in a sign of slowing trade in China.
Shanghai Port said in a Chinese-language filing on the Shanghai stock exchange that net profit for the first half was 2.93 billion yuan ($477 million). That was up from 2.55 billion yuan for January-June a year earlier.
But second-quarter net profit totalled 1.49 billion yuan, down from 1.53 billion yuan a year ago, according to Reuters' calculations based on company data. That showed a sharp slowdown from the first quarter's 41 percent rise, though it was better than the 10.5 percent fall seen in fourth-quarter 2013, based on Reuters data.
A sluggish global economy and China's slowing growth will potentially weigh on Chinese ports' performance for the rest of the year, though Shanghai Port could benefit from government incentives to boost investments in Shanghai's free trade zone.
Shanghai Port's container throughput rose 3.8 percent to 33.77 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2013, putting it ahead of global rivals, such as Singapore, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and South Korea's Busan.
The Shanghai Port results came days after smaller rivals Shenzhen Yan Tian Port Holdings Co Ltd, Tianjin Port Holdings Co Ltd and Beibuwan Port Co Ltd posted rises in first-half profit, while Rizhao Port Co Ltd recorded a fall.
The port's results announcement came after China markets closed. On Wednesday, shares in Shanghai Port, worth $17 billion by market capitalisation, fell 0.9 percent, lagging the main Shanghai composite index's 0.1 percent gain.
Reporting by Christina Lo and Twinnie Siu