Ashdod Port Company confirms its financial results for the first quarter of 2023 and reports net income of NIS 40 million, compared to a net loss of NIS 300 million in the corresponding period last year. In the corresponding period last year, onetime expenses of NIS 299 million, after tax, were included.
The Port reports strong profitability despite increased competition and decreased cargo traffic. Operating income before other expenses for the quarter totaled NIS 45 million, compared to NIS 48 million in the corresponding period last year, effectively a decrease of 6%.
Operating income in the first quarter of 2023 reflects an EBITDA 1 of NIS 77 million, compared to NIS 78 million in the first quarter of 2022.
Financial income in the first quarter of 2023 totaled NIS 4 million, compared to financial expenses of NIS 39 million in the corresponding period last year. The company's investment portfolio and financing expenses were affected in the corresponding period by an increase in market interest rates.
The Port's financial results include all port sectors - containers, vehicles, general cargo, bulk, and passenger ships.
The first quarter of 2023 was noted for progress in the pace of competition following establishment of the private ports and the establishment of these ports as more significant players with a substantial market share. Accordingly, the scope of operations in some cargo sectors decreased, while the port also improved its services to customers in storage and other services.
In the container sector, the volume of containers loaded and unloaded at the port totaled 180 thousand compared to 219 thousand in the corresponding period last year. The decrease follows increased competition alongside unusual demand in vehicles and bulk unloading.
In the vehicle sector, 43 thousand vehicles were unloaded at the port, compared to 32 thousand vehicles in the corresponding period last year, reflecting a significant increase of 33.4%. The increase follows the effect of demand, as noted above, and an increase in the proportion of vehicles imported to the Mediterranean ports.
The bulk sector was affected by operation of the new grain conveyor while improving the level of service in response to bulk unloading disruptions in the north. On the other hand, there was a decrease in the volume of cement and clinker imports, and thus 2,167 thousand tons of aggregates were unloaded and loaded, compared to 2,084 thousand tons in the corresponding period last year, effectively an increase of 4%.
General cargo volume totaled 298 thousand tons compared to 519 thousand tons in the corresponding period last year, effectively a decrease of 42.6%. The drop is due to both the effect of the decrease in the volume of general cargo imported to Israel, the indirect impact of the decrease in container transportation prices, and increased competition.
The passenger ships sector (cruise ships) returned to activity in 2022 amid high demand for ship clerks at the Port. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, 14,000 passengers visited the Port.
In warehousing, the Port is successfully promoting its activities in accordance with the needs of the Israeli importer and exporter within the framework of direct commercial agreements with them.
Shaul Schneider, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ashdod Port, stated: "The company's profitability is in line with its work plans. The effects of the increase in interest rates on economic activity in Israel and the world are evident, and this, at the same time, as a too-slow decrease in the rate of inflation, all of which affect cargo traffic in Israel, while competition increases."
Eli Bar Yosef, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Ashdod Port: "Following the record operating profitability for the entire year 2022, the financial results of the port for the first quarter show a high level of profitability, alongside progress in the competition against the new ports. The port leverages its advantages within the competition while building on the experience and professionalism of its employees and managers. We continue with implementation of the investment plan in order to improve the level of service and make adjustments to it as necessary, in accordance with changes in demand and the needs of the Israeli economy."