AD Ports Group Reports Strong Operational and Financial Performance in 2023
2024-02-16 11:31

AD Ports Group Reports Strong Operational and Financial Performance in 2023

The following release was published by AD Ports Group:

  • Record Full-Year 2023 Revenue Increasing 112% YoY
  • EBITDA Rising 23% YoY to AED 2.7 billion and Net Profit 6% YoY to AED 1.4 billion

AD Ports Group (ADX: ADPORTS), a leading global facilitator of logistics, industry and trade, today announced its preliminary financial results for the 12 months ending 31st December 2023, reporting strong operational and financial performance, with revenue more than doubling year-on-year (YoY) to AED 11.68 billion, +58% YoY to AED 8.71 billion on a like-for-like (LFL) basis after adjusting for the effect of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In the last quarter of 2023, the Group’s revenue soared by 105% YoY to AED 3.57 billion (+41% to AED 2.45 billion on a LFL basis).

Key Highlights

  • Revenue soared 112% Year-on-Year (YoY) to AED 11.68 billion in 2023 (+105% YoY to AED 3.57 billion in Q4 2023).
  • EBITDA increased 23% YoY to AED 2.67 billion in 2023 (flat performance YoY at AED 524 million in Q4 2023 due to extraordinary one-off items)
  • EBITDA margin stood at 22.8% in 2023 (14.7% in Q4 2023)
  • Profit Before Tax reached AED 1.41 billion in 2023, +10% YoY (-21% YoY to AED 273 million in Q4 2023 due to extraordinary one-off items)
  • Total Net Profit reached AED 1.36 billion in 2023, +6% YoY (-17% YoY to AED 285 million in Q4 2023 due to extraordinary one-off items)
  • Net Profit Attributable to Owners reached AED 1.09 billion in 2023, -13% YoY (-72% YoY to AED 91 million in Q4 2023) primarily due to extraordinary one-off items
  • AED 4.57 billion was spent on growth capital expenditure (CapEx) in 2023, AED 945 million lower than 2022, as the Group continued to press ahead with its organic capital investment plans of around AED 15 billion between 2023 and 2027
  • Free Cash Flow (FCF) remained negative at AED 5.41 billion in 2023 vs. negative AED 4.40 billion in 2022 due to the front-loaded nature of the ongoing organic CapEx programme and acquisitions / investments

Revenue growth was driven by the Maritime & Shipping, Ports, Logistics, and Digital Clusters, as well as M&A effect, particularly the completion of the Noatum acquisition on 30th June 2023 (six-month impact).

The Maritime & Shipping Cluster also booked pass-through vessel trading revenues in Q3 & Q4 2023, with no associated profits. Adjusting for vessel trading activities, Group revenue would have increased by 77% YoY in 2023 (+23% YoY on a LFL basis).

EBITDA was impacted by a notable non-cash exceptional one-off impairment charge of AED 139 million related to an investment in a listed associate in Q4 2023. Adjusting for the negative impact of this one-off, EBITDA would have increased by 29% YoY in 2023.

Despite strong top-line and operating results, higher depreciation and amortisation charges, including amortization of intangibles following the finalisation of the purchase price allocation process of recent acquisitions, as well as finance costs and tax weighed on total net profit performance.

Revenues and profits associated with organic and inorganic investments made in 2023 have not yet been fully reflected in the Group’s financial performance due to (i) the long-term nature and required operational ramp-up of organic investments, and (ii) the need for a longer period to extract full synergies from acquired assets.

Normalisation of interest rates going forward will also help narrow the gap between top-line and bottom-line growth.

Operational Performance

Operationally, the Ports Cluster saw container throughput grow to 4.91 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2023, +13% YoY (+7% YoY to 1.25 million TEUs in Q4 2023), driven by higher overall utilisation of 54% in 2023 compared to 51% in 2022, and 58% versus 55% at Khalifa Port specifically. On an LFL basis, container volumes grew 5% YoY.

General cargo volumes rose by 26% YoY to reach 40.0 million tonnes in 2023, compared with 31.7 million tonnes in 2022 (+13% YoY on an LFL basis).

Ro-Ro volumes jumped almost fourfold YoY to 777,000 vehicles, capturing six months of Noatum’s volumes (+48% YoY on an LFL basis), while cruise passenger volumes soared 183% YoY despite the Red Sea disruptions impacting operations at the Aqaba Cruise Terminal in Q4 2023 (accounting for 11% of total cruise volumes in 2023).

In the Economic Cities & Free Zones (EC&FZ) Cluster, 5.0 sq km of gross new leases were signed in 2023 (2.9 sq km on a net basis). Occupancy in KEZAD Communities continued to improve, reaching 60%, up from 43% at the end of 2022, and the demand for gas remained strong, with gas volumes increasing 12% YoY.

Source: AD Ports Group