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Abu Dhabi Ports Group makes ADX debut

Newly-listed group reports 112.84% growth in annual net profit last year as economy improves



Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group; Hisham Khalid Tawfiq Abdulkhaliq Malak, chairman, ADX; Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO, AD Ports Group, and Saeed Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive officer of ADX, at bell ringing ceremony at ADX marking the listing of AD Ports Group shares on Tuesday. — Supplied photo
Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group; Hisham Khalid Tawfiq Abdulkhaliq Malak, chairman, ADX; Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO, AD Ports Group, and Saeed Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive officer of ADX, at bell ringing ceremony at ADX marking the listing of AD Ports Group shares on Tuesday. — Supplied photo
by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Tue 8 Feb 2022, 7:00 PM

Abu Dhabi Ports Group on Tuesday made its debut on Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange following a Dh4 billion capital raise from a primary issuance ahead of its listing.

Its stock opened at Dh3.5 a share and briefly hit Dh3.74 before closing at Dh3.62 with 282.62 million shares traded on the exchange, which closed 0.51 per cent up at 8,779.63 points.

AD Ports Group, which operates ports, logistics and a number of industrial zones industrial zones in the UAE, also reported 112.84 per cent growth in its annual net profit that climbed to Dh845 million last year from Dh397 million in 2020. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, on a reported basis, rose to Dh1.6 billion during 2021, up from Dh1.5 billion in 2020.

The group, company owns and operates 10 ports in the UAE and one in Guinea, also recorded 14 per cent year-on-year revenue growth in 2021 due to volume increase, business diversification and new partnerships. It recorded Dh3.9 billion revenue last year compared to Dh3.4 billion in 2020.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO, AD Ports Group, said Abu Dhabi Ports Group has emerged as a resilient entity that not only continues to expand in terms of size and capabilities, but which has also influenced transformation and the adoption of innovation.

“And now, as a publicly listed company, we welcome new shareholders in joining us on our remarkable journey to develop the maritime and logistics industries across the region and globally,” Al Shamisi said at the bell-ringing ceremony at the ADX.

Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group; Hisham Khalid Tawfiq Abdulkhaliq Malak, chairman, ADX; and Saeed Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive officer of ADX, were also present on the occasion.

“We are pleased to welcome Abu Dhabi Ports Group on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the second listing of 2022. The listing of AD Ports on ADX follows a robust pipeline of listings and new products that we introduced in 2021. As part of our ‘ADX One’ we will continue to encourage the listings pipeline to enhance our dynamic capital market,” Al Dhaheri said.

ADX trading value (buy + sell) jumped five-fold Dh739 billion in 2021 compared to Dh145.6 billion in 2020 while net foreign investment soared more than seven fold to Dh15.3 billion as against Dh2 billion in the same timeframe. The exchange’s benchmark equity index increased 64 per cent by end 2021.

Ownership transfer

The listing of AD Ports Group’s shares and the bell ringing ceremony followed ADQ’s recent transfer of ownership of stakes for two of the UAE’s leading enterprises.

Abu Dhabi Ports Group is majority owned by ADQ, one of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds. ADQ has a stake of 75.44 per cent in AD Ports Group. The exchange shows the company is more than 98 per cent owned by Emirati nationals.

Ahead of the listing, major shareholder ADQ transferred ownership of its 22.32 per cent stake in logistics firm Aramex and a 10 per cent stake in UAE-based contractor National Marine Dredging Company to AD Ports Group.

Anchor investor

Al Seer Marine PJSC, a subsidiary of International Holding Company, on Tuesday also announced a sizeable investment of 375 million equity shares worth Dh1.2 billion in Abu Dhabi Ports Group allocated ahead of its IPO. The investment will support Al Seer Marine to generate growth in the country and the wider region and will accelerate the company’s local and international expansion plans.

Guy Neivens, chief executive officer of Al Seer Marine, said the investment in Abu Dhabi Ports Group is crucial for improving the company’s competitiveness and revenue capacity performance.

“The port is an economic driver, not only in UAE but across the region. Our participation highlights our confidence in Abu Dhabi Ports Group IPO and sets a benchmark for the investor community at large,” Neivens said.

Al Seer Marine is a leader in marine services in the region with 1 billion in paid-in capital and over 1,200 employees. The company’s assets amounted to Dh6.1 billion as at December 2021 compared to Dh717.81 million at the start of the year.

Operational highlights

AD Ports Group, which received credit ratings of A+ by S&P and A+ by Fitch in 2021, said its ports business accounted for about 30 per cent of annual revenues while industrial and logistics parks accounted for around 33 per cent. It has an expected compound growth rate of around 13 per cent, it said.

The group has total assets of Dh28.5 billion as at December 31,2021 while its equity increased to Dh10.7 billion. It handled 45 million metric tonnes of general cargo last year compared to 30 million metric tonnes in 2020 while industrial zones leased three million sqm of land during the period.

Container throughput grew to 3.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2021, up from 3.2 million TEUs in 2020, despite the ongoing supply constraints faced in the global shipping and container market.

“These excellent results demonstrate that AD Ports Group has consolidated our leadership position when global trade and supply chains have experienced many challenges,” Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said.

Al Shamsi said AD Ports Group delivered strong growth in 2021, driven by excellent performance across our business.

“As we continue to build the knowledge and expertise required to take our business to the next level and utilise the Dh4 billion in cash proceeds from the pre-listing issuance this month, we believe that the group is well-positioned to accelerate its local and international expansion plans in 2022 and beyond with transformational impact across a broad range of industries,” Juma Al Shamsi said.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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