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Global Ports Holding Vying for Puerto Rico Cruise Port

London-listed port operator Global Ports Holding (GPH) has submitted a bid for concession rights to a cruise ship dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The company is one of three entities competing to be downselected for the refurbishment, operation and maintenance of a number of piers under a public-private arrangement structure.

The tender includes Piers 1, 3, 4, Piers 11 through 14 in San Juan, and Pan American Piers I and II in Isla Grande.

The other two bidders are Puerto Rico Cruise Terminals Partners and San Juan Cruise Terminals Partners, a Puerto Rico Port Authority spokesperson confirmed to World Maritime News.

Some of the piers would require a total rebuild while others would necessitate only minor refurbishment.

A final decision on the choice of the partner is expected to be made by the end of the month, according to Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA) executive director, Anthony Maceira Zayas.

GPH is seeking to expand its foothold in the region after previously landing a 25-year concession for the Prince George Wharf and related areas, at Nassau cruise port, in the Bahamas, and a 30-year deal with Antigua and Barbuda for cruise port operations in Antigua. In 2018, GPH signed a 15-year management agreement with the Cuban company Aries S.A. for the operation of the cruise port in Havana, Cuba.

The company increased its first-half 2019 revenue from cruise operations by 6.6 percent year on year. In the first six months of the year, GPH reported USD 23.9 million in cruise revenue compared to the USD 22.4 million in the first half of 2018.

Total consolidated revenues were USD 54.6 million, down 3.4 percent year on year, while the operating profit plunged by over 80 percent, from the USD 6.5 million in the first half of 2018 to USD 1.3 million for this year.

“We have seen another record performance from our cruise business in the first half of the year, with strong growth in passenger volumes translating into strong growth in cruise EBITDA,” Emre Sayin, CEO, said.

“Our commercial ports are not immune to macro-economic factors and as a result recent trading has been challenging. Our previous experience suggests that the trading performance will improve over time and we continue to work to diversify the revenue streams at our commercial ports.”

“We expect to deliver low single digit growth in organic EBITDA for the full year.”

World Maritime News Staff