Global Ports Holding posted adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) of €64.1 million for the six months to 2023, a 59 per cent increase over the €40.4 million it registered during the same period a year prior.

The strong earnings came on the back of a 50 per cent rise in revenues driven by a 54 per cent increase in the total number of passengers, which reached 6.7 million during the period from April to September.

This increase was only partly accounted for an increase in the number of cruise ships calling into the company’s port network, indicating that the main driver was instead the higher rate of occupancy in enjoys by cruise liners, which are finally reaching levels comparable to those seen in 2019.

The recovery in passenger numbers is a welcome respite for an industry that was among hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuing directives against travel and public gatherings.

It was particularly strong in the West Mediterranean and Atlantic region (+74 per cent) and the Central Med (+71 per cent), the latter being the reporting segment Malta’s Valletta Cruise Port falls under.

Meanwhile, GPH Malta Finance plc, the finance arm of the group through which it raised €18.1 million through a bond issue in early 2023, posted a €40,434 loss before tax during the period. It attributed this to the number of one-off expenses which the company incurred in terms of set-up costs, in particular, professional fees.

Nonetheless, GPH Malta Finance is anticipating that this loss will be turned into a profit until the end of the financial period.

Of the funds raised, €17.65 million has been lent to the parent company to be used for port investments and operations in other countries. On this, GPH Malta Finance plc generated €659,091 in interest income, as against a €602,791 interest expense on the bond issue. This resulted into a net interest income for the period of €56,300, which the company says serves to cover the majority of the operating expenses for the company’s financing activities.

The London-based group touts itself as “the world’s largest independent cruise port operator”, having a market share of 12 per cent.

Valletta Cruise Port CEO Stephen Xuereb is also Chief Operating Officer of Global Ports Holding.

Main Image:

Valletta Cruise Port / Facebook

Read Next: Placeholder

Written By

Robert Fenech

Robert is curious about the connections that make the world work, and takes a particular interest in the confluence of economy, environment and justice. He can also be found moonlighting as a butler for his big black cat.