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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
01/04/19 12:28

Turkish delight in the cruise business

Global Ports Holding Plc released full year results for 2018, announcing record

Global Ports Holding (GPH), claiming to be the world's largest independent cruise port operator, announces its results for the twelve months ending 31 December 2018.

 Total consolidated revenues were $124.8m up 7.2% yoy (5.0% ccy) to mark a record full year; adjusted EBITDA was up by 11.2% to $83.7m (up 8.9% ccy), in line with management expectations.  On a statutory (IFRS) basis, operating profit improved by 229.4% to $35.9m which was primarily driven by the 7.2% increase in revenue, a partial reversal of replacement provisions for Spanish cruise ports ($12.2m) and the positive effect of Turkish Lira based cost structure at operations located in Turkey.

Strong performance was primarily driven by Creuers (Barcelona and Malaga cruise ports) reflecting a beneficial PAX mix in the year and a strong contribution from the equity accounted associate ports (Lisbon, Singapore and Venice), offset by the previously highlighted weaker performance from Valletta in the year.

GPH also signed a management agreement for Havana cruise port in Cuba and a concession agreement for Zadar Gazenica cruise port in Croatia; a concession agreement was signed in Antigua and Barbuda and preferred bidder status awarded in Nassau, Bahamas.

Consolidated and managed portfolio passenger volumes increased by 8.8% in the year; while passenger volumes remained subdued for Turkish cruise ports in 2018, GPH expects to welcome a significant increase in passengers at Ege Port in 2019

Volumes in traditional cargo categories were notably weak towards the end of the year - primarily driven by a sharp drop in cement volumes in Port Akdeniz since year end - but this impact was largely offset by the positive benefits of the continued drive to diversify and grow revenues in new areas.  New services introduced in the year or planned for 2019 include a new storage facility, Ro-Ro service, dangerous liquid handling and a further expansion of our oil drilling support services capabilities.

Overall 2019 has started well and operational results are overall in line with management expectations, with cruise trading ahead of expectations, offset by some continued weakness in commercial. Elsewhere GPH continues to work on improving the cruise port experience for cruise lines and cruise passengers across its portfolio and is looking forward to delivering on a number of projects in this area in 2019, particularly refurbished retail facilities at Barcelona, that are scheduled to be completed in Q1.

“I am proud of our performance in the year, record passenger volumes, record Adjusted EBITDA, our first new port investments since IPO, including a management agreement for Havana, our first in the Americas and the extension of Bodrum concession by 49 years is a reflection of considerable progress across the Group in 2018. Since the year end overall trading has been in line with our expectations and with an active pipeline of new port opportunities we look to 2019 with confidence” commented Emre Sayin, Chief Executive Officer.

GPH was established in 2004 as an international port operator with a diversified portfolio of interests in cruise and commercial ports. As the world's sole cruise ports consolidator, GPH's portfolio consists of investments in or management of 15 cruise ports and 2 commercial ports in 9 countries and continues to grow steadily: 8.5 million cruise passengers globally were handled across its cruise ports in 2018.