Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

DP World in cautious 2009 outlook

The entrance to Dubai Port
The Dubai government is the biggest investor in DP World

The world's fourth-largest container port operator, Dubai Ports World, has warned of a tricky year ahead.

It is reviewing all expansion projects, cutting costs and freezing recruitment as the global economy slows in 2009.

DP World operates 48 marine terminals and 13 new port developments in 31 countries worldwide.

The firm - in which government investor Dubai World owns the largest stake - expects growth in 2009 in the Middle East and Australia.

'Different picture'

However, with the slowdown in Europe and Asia, DP World chief financial officer Yuvraj Narayan said the firm expected "challenging conditions" to remain for the foreseeable future.

"Under the fast-changing conditions, we have initiated a review of all expansion projects that are currently under implementation," he added.

"There is a general freeze on recruitment and a close review of replacements as far as headcounts are concerned."

He added: "Overall, the fourth [quarter] showed a very different picture from the beginning of the year. Only a few ports showed growth."

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