Passenger capacity set to reach 40 million by 2027, says GPH
Global Ports Holding (GPH), the world’s largest private ports operator has hailed the return of global cruises to exceed pre-pandemic levels as it emerged from the red.
GPH handled 9.2 million passengers in the year ending 31 March 2023, against 2.4 million in the previous year. The tripling in numbers enabled the company to report an underlying annual profit of US$13.5 million against a loss of US$18 million the previous year. Adjusted revenue rose by 191% year-on-year to US$117.2 million from US$40.3 million.
The company expects passenger numbers in the current financial year to rise further to more than 15 million as it adds cruise ports in San Juan, Puerto Rico and St Lucia to its network.
Looking forward, the company said: “The medium to long-term demand trends have been largely unaffected by Covid-19. The growing appetite for leisure travel, if anything, has perhaps increased.”
Co-founder, chief executive and chairman Mehment Kutman, delivering the annual results, said: “Our cruise operations have returned to, and have in fact now exceeded, pre-pandemic activity levels. We are delighted with the performance in the reporting period and are very pleased with our strong start to the 2023 cruise season. The outlook for the cruise industry is strong and GPH is well positioned to be a key enabler and beneficiary of its continued growth and success in the years ahead.”
He added: "Looking further into the future, the global cruise industry’s medium to long-term structural growth dynamics has been largely unaffected by Covid-19. The current cruise ship order book indicates that by the end of 2027, passenger capacity across the industry will have grown to over 40 million, a growth rate of 45% from pre-Covid levels.