AD Ports Group had weighed in with a series of M&A deals through the recent past. Those done in Europe are starting to show up well on its financials. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Fueled by new management contracts and deals, the AD Ports Group saw revenues more than double to Dh3.89 billion from the first 3 months of 2024.

During this period, the Abu Dhabi ports and zones operator completed the buying of APM Terminals Castellon in Spain; the Sesé Auto Logistics in Europe; the Karachi Gateway Terminal Multipurpose Limited (KGTML) in Pakistan; as well as of Dubai Technologies and GFS in the UAE.

The revenue and EBITDA growth were driven by its maritime and shipping operations, ports, logistics, and digital clusters. And of course, there was the M&A effect, particularly Noatum’s acquisition (completed on June 30, 2023) and that of GFS (completed on January 31, 2024.)

How profit fared

Net profit closed in at Dh400 million, a 10 per cent year-on-year gain. "We are confident that with assets in Pakistan, Spain, Jordan, Egypt, Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and the UAE, AD Ports Group is well-placed to benefit in today’s challenging markets,” said Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO.

"The Group is well structured and has built solid foundations to support the ongoing diversification of its port-centric logistics global footprint in light of the ongoing global geopolitical disruptions and polarisation."

Dh 1.27 b

AD Ports Group's Q1-2024 capex. This is in line with the group’s front-loaded Dh12b to Dh15b organic capex guidance between 2024-28.

Cash flow and capex

The cash flow from operations more than doubled to Dh781 million 'as a result of better operating performance and enhanced working capital'.

But a significant increase in cash used in investing activities - the one-off impact from the completion of several M&A transactions combined with ongoing capex investments - led to a larger negative free cash flow for the quarter.

"The Group recorded EBITDA of Dh1.04 billion in Q1-2024, up 49% year-on-year," said Martin Aarup, Group Chief Financial Officer. 

"Through prudent financial stewardship and focused capital allocation based on strategic priorities, we will continue to steer AD Ports Group against a volatile economic backdrop, ensuring it remains resilient in the face of economic turbulence.”