Public-listed river-port operator Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) reported sound business performance for the full year of 2022 amidst regional and global economic uncertainty.

In a filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on January 10, the state-owned enterprise said it handled 3,783 cargo vessels at its facilities in 2022, soaring by 64.34 per cent from the 2,302 recorded in 2021.

Meanwhile, oil, gas and cargo throughput rose by 5.16 per cent to 4.044 million tonnes, and container throughput increased by 19.72 per cent to 417,696 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), it added.

A TEU is an inexact unit of cargo capacity used in the shipping industry roughly equivalent to a container with internal dimensions measuring about 20 feet long, eight feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, or a volume roughly 38.5 cubic metres.

PPAP also noted that 109 passenger boats carrying 6,947 people docked at its facilities over the year, up from zero in 2021.

PPAP director-general Hei Bavy credits the upturn in the port business to general improvements in economic activity which he tied to the relatively subdued spread of Covid-19 and easing of pandemic-linked restrictions across the globe.

“Economic activity has been improving since most countries opened their borders post-Covid-19, which has contributed to the growth of the port’s business performance during the period,” he told The Post last month.

CSX Market Operations Department director Kim Sophanita told The Post on January 11 that effective Covid-19 control has been a significant driver of recovery in economic activity and consumer demand, which she said fuelled business growth for PPAP in 2022.

She predicted that 2023 “will be another good year for the port”, reasoning that the economy is pegged to grow by “more than five per cent” and that Beijing’s reopening to the world would mean more trade, investment and tourist flows between Cambodia and China.

Although full-year figures were not immediately available, PPAP earlier reported revenues from business activities of more than $37 million for the first 11 months of the year, up 22 per cent year-on-year.

For comparison, last year, PPAP reported net profits at $12.7 million – up 29 per cent over 2020 – and container throughput at 348,898 TEU, up nearly 20.0 per cent from 290,857 TEUs in 2020, which followed a 3.49 increase from 2019.

In late March, Bavy disclosed that PPAP had forecast container throughput of 394,679 TEUs in 2022 as Covid-19 tapered off, which was exceeded by 5.83 per cent.