Global Ports Investments PLC has published its consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Continued strong growth, deleveraging targets achieved
Revenue increased by 30.8% to USD 502.8 million (+17.1% like-for-like)
Adjusted EBITDA grew by 17.4% to USD 246.2 million, delivering like-for-like Adjusted EBITDA Margin increase of 15 basis points to 65.4%
Operating profit growth of 25.2% to USD 197.1 million
Profit for the period increased by 2.9x to USD 143.9 million
Free Cash Flow generation growth of 46.9% to USD 129.1 million
Deleveraging target successfully achieved with Net Debt down USD 120.7 million and Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA reduced to 2.0x (-0.9x compared to 31 December 2020)
Consolidated Marine Container Throughput up 2.8% y-o-y to 1,576 thousand TEUs with strong market position successfully protected in all key basins of presence
Growth continued for the first two months of 2022 with a Consolidated Marine Container Throughput increase of 20% y-o-y, with VSC posting 53% growth in this period
Consolidated Marine Bulk Throughput of 4.3 million tonnes (-14.6% y-o-y) on the back of the strategic decision to cease coal handling at VSC to drive more profitable container volume growth
Improved credit profile confirmed by rating agencies: Moody’s upgraded rating of the Company and Group’s financial instruments by 1 notch to Ba1, RA Expert by 2 notches to ruAA, Fitch Ratings affirmed at BB+.
“The last two years have seen an extremely volatile operational environment and disruption across global supply chains and it has been vital for our customers to manage trade unbalances. As a result, we have learned that offering the right infrastructure capacity combined with a high standard of service, ensuring a clear focus on our client’s needs at the right time and in the right location, and this had a favourable reception across our client base. Building on this strong foundation, we not only successfully enhanced our leading market positions in both basins of presence but also delivered solid growth in Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow,” said Albert Likholet, CEO of Global Ports.
“Due to this strong performance, 2021 marks a significant milestone in the Group’s history, as we have succeeded in achieving our long-term deleveraging targets. This achievement opens up potential opportunities for revising our capital allocation approach in the future should we see more predictable environment with greater visibility.”
Financial and Operational Highlights for 2021
Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons below are for 2021 in comparison to 2020.
Consolidated revenue increased by 30.8% to USD 502.8 million; excluding the impact of VSC transportation services, like-for-like revenue increased by 17.1% as 25.0% increase in Consolidated Container Revenue offset 5.2% decrease in Consolidated Non-container Revenue on the back of ceased coal handling at VSC.
Like-for-like Revenue per TEU increased by 21.6% to USD 188.7 as a result of positive cargo, customer and basin mix changes, as well as customers’ appreciation of our quality services in high demand environment in the Far Eastern basin.
Operating profit increased by 25.2% to USD 197.1 million.
Like-for-like Total Operating Cash Costs increased by 16.4% to USD 131.8 million due to inflationary pressure, volumes growth and also the fact that operating in a high demand environment and capacity utilisation rate at VSC required controlled cost increases to drive Adjusted EBITDA growth.
Adjusted EBITDA increased by 17.4% to USD 246.2 million as a result of volume growth and Revenue per TEU increase. Profitability improved with like-for-like Adjusted EBITDA Margin to 65.4% posting an increase of 15 basis points.
The Group achieved significant Free Cash Flow growth of 46.9% generating USD 129.1 million over the year.
The Group reduced Net Debt by USD 120.7 million in 2021 allowing Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA to decrease from 2.9x as of 31 December 2020 to 2.0x as at the end of the reporting period, achieving the Group’s long-term deleveraging target.
Strong market growth in 2021 saw the Russian marine container market achieving all-time-high volumes in 2021 of 5.4 million TEUs (+7.1% y-o-y), driving growth in both containerised import of 11.1% and containerised export of 4.2%.
As a result of the sharp rise in freight rates in most of the main global container shipping trades, very tight network capacity in the Asia-Europe trade and a deficit of empty containers globally, market players increasingly preferred faster container import and export supply chains via the shortest sea leg. As a result, market growth was concentrated in the Far Eastern basin (+14.0% y-o-y) and the Southern basin (+6.4% y-o-y) while the combined throughput of terminals located in Saint Petersburg and the surrounding area declined by 3.7% y-o-y in FY 2021.
The Group successfully improved its market share position in both its basins of presence in 2021, with VSC throughput improving 14.8% y-o-y and throughput of its terminals in the Baltic Basin declining by 2.3% y-o-y (being less than market decline). In total, Consolidated Marine Container Throughput increased by 2.8% y-o-y in 2021 to 1,576 thousand TEUs.
As previously announced, VSC ceased coal handling activities in September 2021, enabling the terminal to concentrate on the Group’s core strategic operations of driving container volumes. As a result, the Group’s Consolidated Marine Bulk Throughput decreased in 2021 by 14.6% y-o-y to 4.3 million tonnes.
High and Heavy Ro-Ro handling increased by 24.4% to 25.2 thousand units, while car handling increased by 27.8% to 104.9 thousand units.
The company’s outlook for 2022 is impacted by increased volatility and heightened global and regional geopolitical tensions, which has immediately lowered visibility on what to expect in 2022.