Spain’s state-owned port system, made up of 46 ports managed by 28 Port Authorities and coordinated by Puertos del Estado, closed the 2020 financial year with an operating result of 142.6 million euros. Taking into account the financial results, the consolidated result of the port system for the year before tax was 104 million euros – March 11, 2021 Net revenue was €967 million, down
16.1% from €1,153 million in 2019. The decrease in revenue was due, on the one hand, to the decrease in freight traffic (-8.7%), although it nevertheless exceeded 515 million tonnes, and, on the other hand, to the reductions in fees contemplated mainly in Royal Decree 26/2020 on economic reactivation measures to deal with the effects of the pandemic. The president of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo, considers that these are positive results, given the crisis we are going through, despite the decrease in traffic and having implemented support measures aimed at alleviating the effects of the pandemic among port operators. The fee reductions we implemented resulted in savings of 140 million euros for port companies. A measure that has proved to be very useful so that the logistics fabric and its employment suffered as little as possible during the worst of the pandemic. Thus, user charges, which include, among others, cargo, vessel and passenger charges, and which represent the largest revenue item, decreased by 21.4% to 474.7 million euros; the occupancy charge, 265.5 million euros, decreased by 7.3%. Other revenues of 108 million euros were added to the turnover from the collection of fees, such as the fee for the reception of waste from ships, or the fees for private commercial services. Regarding operating expenses, 435 million euros were allocated to fixed asset depreciation, 272 million euros to personnel expenses, and 231 million euros to external services. Finally, with regard to operating EBITDA, the true picture of what the port system is gaining or losing in the core business, it stood at 501 million euros, a decrease of 22.4% compared to the 645 million in 2019. The port system presents a balanced financial situation at the end of 2020, with a positive working capital (working capital) of 1,714 million euros, just 1% less than in 2019 (1,731 million euros). Francisco Toledo stressed that “accumulating this working capital is necessary to meet the large investments, as the system is self-financing, without resorting to general taxation, and therefore must ‘save’ to meet them, avoiding indebtedness”. Non-current assets amounted to 12,477 million euros and current assets to 2,109 million euros. Shareholders’ equity amounted to €10,071 million, representing 69% of total assets and 80.7% of non-current assets, higher than at year-end 2019 when it stood at 79.3%. Total long- and short-term indebtedness amounted to €1,497 million, a reduction of €134 million on the €1,631 million balance in 2019. The annual profitability of the port system, for the purposes of applying correction coefficients to the ship, passenger and cargo rates, stands at 1.02%. Eighteen of the Port Authorities show positive profitability, although only four exceed the 2.5% threshold foreseen in the ports law (Cartagena, Baleares, Castellón and Las Palmas) and the remaining ten have had negative profitability in 2020, although in almost all of them a positive result is expected in 2021. Aware of the contribution that investment in public works has for the economic reactivation of the country and the importance of the development of such vital infrastructures for transport and logistics, Puertos del Estado has approved a productive Investment Plan with an annual investment of more than 1,000 million euros, almost double that in 2020, and which until 2024 will total more than 4,500 million euros of public investment. The investments envisaged are aimed at satisfying real and verifiable demand, with criteria of financial and economic-social profitability, as well as on the basis of attracting private investment. In fact, with the data available to us, the private investment foreseen in the ports for 2021 amounts to 890 million euros and the total for the period 2020-24 will reach 4,200 million euros, a figure similar to the public investment. On the other hand, the General State Budget has approved fee reductions in thirteen Port Authorities which will mean a saving of 32 million euros for the operators, which increases the competitiveness of these ports. Puertos del Estado is a state-owned organisation responsible for the management of state-owned ports. The company executes the port policy of the government and coordinates and controls the efficiency of the port system, made up of 28 port authorities that manage the 46 ports of general interest. Source: Puertos del Estado Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2021.