GPH leaves the stock exchange. Modernization and privatization are a source of the operator’s competitive advantage

By Marek Grzybowski

lobal Ports Holding, a leading company managing ports and operating passenger ports, will be a private company. Global Yatirim Holding, the majority shareholder of Global Ports Holding (GPH.L), announced that it will withdraw the company from the London Stock Exchange.
Global Yatirim, which holds 59% of shares in GPH, is considering purchasing the remaining shares for cash. “The shareholder intends to pay about $3 per share for the remaining shares of the cruise port operator,” Reuters reports. Global Yatirim announced in a statement that “GIH (Global Investment Holdings – MG), as the majority shareholder, is convinced of the advisability of transforming the enterprise into a private company and intends to apply for delisting the company from the stock exchange.”
Global Investment Holdings (“GIH”), is a diversified conglomerate operating in 19 different countries on 4 continents. Its consolidated results for the full year ended March 31, 2024 are extremely promising. Global Investment Holdings reported a consolidated net profit of TL 239.0 million [Turkish lira – MG] in Q1 2024 compared to a net profit of TL 171.1 million in Q1 2023. Consolidated net revenues amount to 3,417 .5 billion TL, while the consolidated EBITDA is 1,113.8 billion TL.
Global Ports Holding is the world’s largest cruise port operator. On June 19, GPH shares were quoted at GBP 249/share, while ten days earlier the share value was estimated in London at GBP 265, but a month earlier it was less than GBP 210. In 2023, the company achieved sales of $213.6 million, driven by 66% post-pandemic revenue growth. The year ended with an EBITDA profit of USD 72.7 million, and its growth was incredibly record-breaking, amounting to 937% compared to 2022.
Such a jump in revenues and profits is not only the result of the rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic in the form of increased activity of sea tourists. Cruise fleet operators regained customers despite the increase in cruise prices. Ship loading rates and cruise occupancy rates were growing rapidly.
Global Ports Holding took advantage of the post-pandemic situation and significantly increased the number of cruise ports. In 2023, new concession agreements were signed. Between April 2022 and March 2023, several new cruise ports were included in the GPH network. This brings Alicante Cruise Port, Fuerteventura Cruise Port, Lanzarote Cruise Port and Las Palmas Cruise Ports in Spain, Prince Rupert Cruise Port (Canada) and San Juan Cruise Port in Puerto Rico under GPH’s management.

Passengers are the driving force of port business
This high level of activity resulted in excellent financial results. Passenger ship shipping took a hit, and this had an impact on the results of passenger port operators.
Adjusted revenue was $117.2 million for the 12 months ended March 31, 2023, compared to $40.3 million in the prior reporting period (12 months ended March 31, 2022). Total operating revenue was USD 213.6 million for the 12 months (April 2022 to March 2023), compared to USD 128.4 million a year earlier.
EBITDA approached USD 80 million. Profit increased significantly compared to $12.9 million in the previous reporting period, generating an EBITDA margin of 68.3%. Adjusted EBITDA increased to $72.7 million compared to $7.0 million in the prior reporting period.
The period of activities on the maritime tourism market in 2023 did not end with only successes. A pre-tax loss of $9.5 million was observed. This was significantly lower compared to the loss of USD 43.9 million recorded in the previous reporting period. Net profit ultimately amounted to USD 13.5 million.
The dynamically growing number of passengers contributed to this. 9.2 million passengers were served at the ports operating in the Global Ports Holding group. This is an increase of 281% compared to the previous reporting period, emphasizes the operator.
There were ports that stood out in terms of the dynamically growing number of passengers. The Ege Port Kuşadası and Nassau Cruise Port terminals increased their activity. The latter port has been seriously modernized and expanded. In May 2023, a new passenger terminal was launched.

Bright prospects for maritime tourism
The owners of GPH estimate that “The short and long-term prospects for the cruise industry are very promising.” It notes that many 2024 destinations have seen load rates substantially back above 100%, and many cruise lines have broken booking records for the 2023 season. It is expected that during the 2024 reporting period, ‘GPH could welcome record highs in its ports number of 11.8 million passengers.
Analyzing the passenger market in the longer term, GPH management notes that the cruise ship order book signals further growth in the supply of travel services and development of the industry in the coming years.
– The continuous development of the cruise industry means that the cruise port industry must invest in port infrastructure and operational capabilities to be able to effectively respond to the expected increase in demand – emphasizes GPH management.
Therefore, not only profits are counted, but also investment expenses that will ensure high quality of passenger service are emphasized. In the 2023 season, the operator spent USD 98.1 million on investments in port transformation. In the near future, GPH plans to invest EUR 42 million in 3 ports in the Canary Islands. New cruise terminals will be built in Las Palmas and Lanzarote. New terminal berths will be built in the Lanzarote cruise port and the port of Fuerteventura.

Investments in passenger terminals
After receiving the passenger service concession, Tarragona Cruise Port plans to invest EUR 5.5 million in a new, efficient and environmentally friendly terminal with an area of ​​2,200 m2. The new terminal will serve both transit connections and passengers starting their journey. The terminal will include space for retail and catering as well as new parking lots for coaches and cars.
In turn, Ege Port Kuşadası (Ege Port) received a concession for the next 19 years, until 2052. In exchange for extending the concession, Ege Port paid TRY 725.4 million ($38 million) in advance. Ege Port has also committed to investing up to 10% of the initial concession fee over the next five years to modernize the cruise terminal and commercial facilities at the port. Additionally, Ege Port will pay a license fee of 5% of gross revenues from July 2033.
– We believe that GPH is well-positioned to play a key role in this process and we are confident of continuing to implement our inorganic growth strategy in the coming years, and we look forward to record results in the 2024 reporting period – predict GPH managers in the “2023 Annual Report” .
An overview of Global Ports Holding’s activities shows how ports should approach serving passenger airline customers. High-class terminal service is the basis for meeting the expectations of cruise ship operators, especially sea passengers. The passenger terminal is a showcase not only of the port, but also of the city. So let’s take a look at the terminals in which we accept guests from all over the world in Gdańsk, Gdynia and Szczecin.