Global Ports Holdings forecasts profit this year after a loss in 2017

Renovations completed at Turkish port of Kuşadası, GPH's first acquisition Renovations completed at Turkish port of Kuşadası, GPH's first acquisition

Global Ports Holdings (GPH) shares rose 10.2% to 435p towards the close of trading Monday after the world’s largest cruise ports operator earlier reported a loss in 2017, but said it expects single-digit growth in revenue and adjusted earnings in 2018.

The company, which listed in London May 2017, swung to a pre-tax loss of $10.5m for 2017, from a profit of $5.3m in the previous year, due to a euro to US dollar currency switch and cost of its initial public offering.

Overall revenue rose by 1.3% to $116.4m, as despite cruise revenues declining 6.3% to $50.3m, commercial revenue grew almost 8% to $66.1m.

Strong passenger growth of 15.2% was recorded last year which included a full year contribution from and growth in its Italian ports noted the port operator . Turkish cruise ports’ revenue was 49.2% lower, impacted by geopolitical events, but remains highly profitable at 59.7% segmental EBITDA margin.

Two highlights last year were the opening of the Lisbon cruise terminal and renovation completed at Ege Port - Kuşadası which was GPH’s first acquisition.

GPH reports strong current trading in cruise segment in non-Turkish based ports and warns weakness in Turkish cruise ports is expected to continue into 2018, although passengers and revenue are expected to stabilize compared to the decline experienced in 2017.

A number of cruise lines have begun to communicate their plans to visit GPH’s Turkish ports in 2018.

The Group remains confident about its M&A activity in and outside Europe in cruise ports

Mehmet Kutman, chairman and co-founder said: ‘In May 2017 we listed on the London Stock Exchange. Despite the geopolitical challenges in Turkey since then, we have been able to deliver stable revenues and underlying profits, achieve strong operating cash flow and attractive dividends. Operating profit was down year on year mainly reflecting the costs of the IPO. Delivering shareholder value remains a key priority for the group as we look to the year ahead.’

Emre Sayın, ceo commented: ‘Our 2017 financial performance reflects the importance of our diversified business, with robust contributions from our commercial operations and strong performance in our cruise ports outside Turkey, where the geopolitical situation continues to be challenging. We are making progress with our strategy set out at the IPO to expand our global footprint of cruise ports, also reducing the significance of Turkey on our overall business. M&A discussions both in and outside Europe are progressing well and we have strengthened our global team (cruise veteran’s Mark Robinson and Colin Murphy have recently joined the company in key roles) as we pursue the next phase of growth. We feel good about 2018 as it starts growing again.’

GPH's portfolio consists of investments in 15 ports in 7 countries and continues to grow steadily. GPH provides services for 7m passengers reaching a market share of 23% in the Mediterranean annually. The group also offers commercial port operations which specialize in container, bulk and general cargo handling.

 

Posted 13 March 2018

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Mary Bond

Managing director publishing and content at Seatrade

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