StockMarketWire.com - Cruise port operator Global Ports swung to an annual pre-tax profit Tuesday as a decline in the Turkish lira and lower replacement provisions for Spanish cruise ports bolstered performance.

For the 12 months ended 31 December, the company reported a profit before tax of $8.6m from a loss of $10.5m a year earlier as revenues rose 7.2% to $124.8m.

The return to the black was primarily driven by 'the 7.2% increase in revenue, a partial reversal of replacement provisions for Spanish cruise ports ($12.2m) and the positive effect of our Turkish Lira based cost structure at our operations located in Turkey,' the company said.

'Overall 2019 has started well and operational results are overall in line with management expectations, with Cruise trading ahead of expectations, offset by some continued weakness in Commercial,' the company said.

'Due to the seasonal nature of the business, the first quarter of the year is always the quietest trading period in particular for the cruise business but also the commercial divisions of GPH. Therefore, Q1 trading trends do not inform the trend for the full year.'

'Cruise passenger volumes are in line with our expectations year to date. As we look to the remainder of the year we are particularly pleased to see a significant increase in calls scheduled for Ege Port, Turkey. While we look forward to a stronger performance from Valletta in 2019 and to a full year contribution from our management agreement in Havana, which is delivering ahead of expectations.'

'Trading at our Commercial Ports is currently slightly behind our expectations at the Segmental EBITDA level.'

'Container volumes are broadly in line with last year, however, General & Bulk volumes are currently down significantly year on year, primarily driven by a sharp drop in cement volumes in Port Akdeniz since year end. However, the success of our strategy to diversify revenues at our commercial ports means we currently expect to largely offset this impact at the EBITDA level in 2019.'


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