Disposals boost Moby-Tirrenia 2017 financial statement
Despite an increasing turnover Ebitda and result are not sufficient: the Onorato group, which is about to merge its ro-pax business into CIN, had to renegotiate the 200 million euro bank loan they obtained in 2016
During the presentation of its 2017 financial statement to the investors of the Luxembourg stock-exchange (where its 300 million euro bond issued at the beginning of 2016 is listed), the shipping group headed by Vincenzo Onorato (including also CIN, Toremar, St.Peters Line and terminal and towage activities) revealed that 2017 was a good year as revenues increased from 538 million euro in 2016 to 586, its Ebitda increased from 118.5 to 131.8 and profits from 7.7 to 24.5.
Besides the increase in traffics (in particular in the cargo sector, from and to Sicily; a Naples-Catania line operated with the ro-pax Hartmut Puschmann might be launched shortly) and a positive operating dynamics (operating costs decreased from 90.6 to 88% of the revenues), 32 million euro were recorded under the item “other operating revenues(costs)”, that last year was negative by over 5 million euro. Said income results from the sale of the vessels Dimonios and Puglia (and of a few smaller units) for over 21 million, and from insurance compensations for a dozen million euro.
In the financial report submitted to investors, Moby's directors dealt also with other issues.
After having pointed out their compliance with the 2017 covenants, the directors explained that they obtained a renegotiation of the 200 million euro loan granted to the group in 2016: upon a reduction of the Consolidated Leverage Ratio covenant (ratio between net financial position, that at the end of the year decreased to 496.4 million euro, and Ebitda; while the gross one increased from 673 to 733 million euro) the interest rate was increased. After having returned the first 10 million in 2017, in February Moby repaid another 40 million, and in the next three years it will have to repay 50 million per year, at a higher price but with less obligations regarding its Ebitda.
As regards its fleet, the service life of 10 ferries was extended by 10 years, “on the basis of the evaluation of an independent broker” (probably Unitramp). For what concerns several administrative litigations, referring to the recent penalty for abuse of dominant position imposed by the Italian Antitrust Authorities, CIN and Moby directors are sure that the penalty will be cancelled during judicial proceedings “because the companies always operated fairly”.
With reference to the preliminary investigation for State aids started in 2011 by Brussels-based DG Competition against CIN, the Moby group “deems it probable” that the proceedings will result in a conviction and in the repayment of an indefinite sum. However, “said risk would be neutralized by the provisions of the purchase agreement related to the former public company signed in July 2011”, they explained in their report.
In fact, CIN will deduct the required amount from the 180 million euro that it still owes to the State, while directors seem not to be concerned about the delay in the payment of its first instalment. Moreover, also European penalties related to Toremar's subsidies (amounting to 25-27 million euro) and to the purchase conditions of the Tuscan company are possible.
Finally, the reverse merger project should lead to a consolidation of all ro-pax activities under CIN Tirrenia as parent company, while at the end of the report they referred to the 7 million euro purchase of an apartment belonging to Vincenzo Onorato and to the 1 million loan granted to him (at a 2% rate).