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By Alexander Bueso

Date: Friday 17 Aug 2018

(Sharecast News) - Global Ports Holding cut its losses in the first half of the year and expect to report a profit in 2019 as the cruise port operator reported a 14% increase in revenues to $56.6m, a 7.5% increase at constant currencies thanks to strong cruise sales.
Boosted by currency movements, the London-listed, Turkish-owned group posted record segmental adjusted operating profit up 25.2% to $40.3m in the six months to 30 June, with consolidated EBITDA rising 20.4% to $36.1m, in line with management expectations. Cruise EBITDA rose 45% and commercial EBITDA 16%.

Loss for the period of $3.6m was cut from a $6.7m loss a year before. A $16.0m amortisation expense was taken in relation to port operation rights, up from $14.8m last time, but the change in underlying profit was driven by the higher operating profit, the higher income from equity accounted investees, partly offset by higher tax charge.

An interim dividend of $17.5m (22p/share) was declared, in line with last year, and house broker Shore Capital said that assuming a similar final payment would equate to a dividend yield of 9%.

Global Ports Holding, which is 65.63% owned by Istanbul-listed Global Investment Holdings, is the world's largest cruise port operator. It is not to be confused with Global Ports, the leading container terminal operator serving Russian cargo flows.

Cruise revenues and profits were boosted as passenger numbers grew 6.2% to 1.6m in the period, driven by a strong performance at Barcelona and Malaga cruise ports and growth in ancillary services revenues. The equity accounted associate ports Venice, Lisbon and Singapore also rose strongly.

An agreement was signed to operate Havana cruise port - the group's first in the Americas - and a partnership agreement was signed with Dreamlines, a fast-growing online travel agency for cruises.

In commercial, general & bulk cargo volumes were down 1.6% and TEU throughput up 0.6%. TEU stands for Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit which can be used to measure a ship's cargo carrying capacity.

Port Adria's performance continues to improve after completion of investment program, with operating profits at Port Akdeniz supported by weak Turkish lira.

Chief executive Emre Sayin said: "Trading since the period end at both our cruise and commercial ports has continued to perform in line with our expectations. Despite significant volatility in Turkish lira during this period, business has not been affected because we are a global business with over 95% of revenues in hard currency.

"We look forward to welcoming a record number of passengers to our cruise ports in 2018 and expect to deliver full year results towards the upper end of expectations."

Global Ports, which floated in London in May last year at 740p but fell below 400p this March, was up 5% on Friday at 515p.

Real estate investor Dukemount Capital saw losses widen in its last financial year, however, the firm now considers itself to be working with "the right parties on the right properties".

Dukemount's losses widened 60% to £285,968 as a result of costs associated to the acquisition of its first property and the firm's flotation on the London Stock Exchange back in March 2017.

Dukemount, which floated with the aim of helping to "satisfy the large and increasing demand for long dated high yield investments from some of the world's largest financial institutions", has yet to record any revenue and admitted that its full-year growth had not been as rapid as hoped.

"The group has explored numerous opportunities during the year and whilst progress has not been as fast moving as we would have liked we do consider that we are now working with the right parties on the right properties and look forward to moving ahead with our first two projects and using this model as a blueprint for future developments," said chairman Geoffrey Dart.

Dukemount held cash and equivalents of £148,391 on 30 April.


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