Global Ports Investments PLC has published its consolidated financial statements for 2021, boasting revenues of $502.8 million.
This shows an increase of 30.8 per cent over the company’s 2020’s financial results.
Adjusted EBITDA grew by 17.4 per cent to $246.2 million, delivering a like-for-like adjusted EBITDA margin increase of 15 basis points to 65.4 per cent.
Operating profit rose 25.2 per cent to $197.1 million. This led to profit for the period being almost three times as much as it was in 2020, reaching $143.9 million.
The group also achieved significant Free Cash Flow growth of 46.9 per cent, generating $129.1 million in 2021.
Additionally, Global Ports reduced net debt by $120.7 million allowing net debt to adjusted EBITDA to decrease from 2.9x as of 31 December 2020 to 2.0x as of the end of the reporting period, achieving the group’s long-term deleveraging target.
In terms of business performance, Global Ports saw strong market growth in 2021 as the Russian container market reached record highs.
The Russian marine container market achieved 5.4 million TEU, an increase of 7.1 per cent over its 2020 figures.
As a result of the sharp rise in freight rates, very tight network capacity in Asia-Europe trade and a deficit of empty containers globally, market players increasingly preferred fast container important export supply chains via the shortest sea leg.
Market growth was concentrated in the Far Eastern basin and the Southern basin, growing 14 per cent and 6.4 per cent year-on-year respectively. At the same time, the combined throughput of terminals located in Saint Petersburg and the surrounding areas declined by around 3.7 per cent year-on-year.
“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,” said Albert Likholet, CEO of Global Ports.
“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.
“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.”
Global Ports’ outlook for 2022 will be heavily impacted by increased volatility and heightened global and regional geopolitical tensions. This has immediately lowered visibility on what to expect over the next year.
The recent Russian military activity in Ukraine will no doubt have a large effect on the company’s performance over the next few months as major shipping lines, with the exemption of COSCO Shipping Lines, have now suspended all bookings to and from Russia.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has also written to all UK ports asking for suspension of access to any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered, or operated vessels.