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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
26/11/18 10:36

Italian container terminals are increasingly profitable

Despite the moderate growth in traffics (+2,1%), the 10 concessionaires examined by Fedespedi have less employees (-10,5%), they record a 625 million euro turnover and amount to 81 profits (+30%). LSCT and VTE rank first

In 2017, container traffic in Italian ports remained stable (10.65 million TEUs compared to 10.5 in 2016), while terminals are yielding more and more profits for their shareholders.

This is the main outcome emerging from Fedespedi's annual survey about container terminals, taking into account the data of 10 companies among the leaders in the sector (74% handling). Compared to last year, the survey included the Ancona Adriatic Container Terminal instead of the Salerno Container Terminal. The overall traffic increased only by 2.1%, but the turnover of the other 9 terminals (Cagliari CICT, La Spezia LSCT, Genoa SECH and VTE, Gioia Tauro MCT, Ravenna TCR, Livorno TDT, Trieste TMT and Venice Vecon) increased by 5.2% (619.3 million euro), and their profits (80.08 million euro) recorded a 31.1% increase.

The first gateway terminals in absolute value are VTE group (38.4 million profits on a turnover of 174.7, and a 59.9 million Ebidta) and LSCT (30.2 on 155 with a 68.7 Ebitda) which, with TMT (+21.6%), recorded the greatest traffic increases (+16,5% and +17%). However, also the terminals recording the worst traffic performances (from -10.9% of MCT to -32.2% of CICT) closed in the black, with SECH being the only terminal closing in the red (-0.56 million euro, against +5% of traffics).

Said results imply record performance indexes (all negative only for SECH, while MCT still has a positive 1.8% ROE). Given their company size, VTE and LSCT recorded an exceptional ROE (44.9% and 31.3% respectively), but also medium or small-sized operators such as Vecon or ACT closed with a good ROE (65,5% and 43,3%). TDT and MCT ranked last (1.1% and 1.8%), while the others gained good profits from their investments (between 12.9% and 18.5%).

According to Fedespedi, the leverage ratio (between total liabilities and shareholders' equity, measuring the dependency on third parties to finance the company) of almost all the subjects taken into consideration is under control (it ranges between 2 and 3, exceeding to 3.23 only for SECH, probably due to undercapitalization). On the contrary, the quick ratio poses more problems as it relates “liquid assets (cash and cash equivalents) and deferred liquidity (typically receivables from customers) to total current liabilities, thus indicating the degree of hedging of short-term operating and financial payables (with maturity within the year) through liquidity”: only Vecon and ACT exceed the unit. VTE and TCR get close to it, while the others range between 0.26 and 0.71.

Finally, besides all the other data which cannot be summed up here, note the decrease in employees (from 3,652 to 3,303) for the 9 terminals taken into account in the two years (although the statistics does not take into account the services provided by port undertakings as per Article 16 and by temporary labour providers as per Article 17), with specific turnover per employee ranging from 93,000 of MCT to 331,000 of Vecon, and cost between 43,000 of TMT and 80,000 of Vecon.

Andrea Moizo

TAG : Container