GLOBAL Ports, a Cypriot-based terminal operator serving Russian cargo flows, has achieved a 346 per cent year-on-year increase in first half group profit to US$113 million, despite revenue declining by 24 per cent to $163.7 million.
The dramatic rise in first half profit was attributed to the company refinancing half of its debt portfolio, whereby its total debt was reduced by US$44 million, reported Container Management.
To lower its debt the group issued a EUR350 million (US$393.6 million) Eurobond with maturity in January 2022 and three five-year tranches of Russian rouble denominated bonds3 swapped to US$ for an aggregate amount of $209 million," it was cited as saying.
"With the aim of increasing financial flexibility and diversification of its funding sources, the group refinanced more than half of its debt portfolio via a number of successful public transactions on the international and Russian debt markets," a company statement explained.
"As a result of these transactions, the share of public borrowings and fixed rate borrowings increased to 51 per cent and 71 per cent of the debt portfolio respectively," the statement said.
In the first six months of the year, the operator's nine container terminals (including two inland facilities) located in both the Baltic Sea and Far East Basins handled a total of 771,000 TEU, with volumes in Russia dropping by 22 per cent year on year to 647,000 TEU.
The company blamed the drop in box throughput to the decrease in overall market volumes and a reduction in the group's market share in the second half of 2015 due to a "disciplined commercial strategy and increased competition".
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