Net sales revenue for the year amounted to EUR 312.8 million, which was at the same level as in 2022. Revenue from increased container and car handling, container stuffing and stripping services, additional services and higher prices increased by EUR 20 million, while storage revenue decreased by EUR 21 million due to the normalisation of the global logistics market and the shorter dwell time of goods in warehouses.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in 2023 totalled EUR 60.9 million, 76 % increase compared to the plan, driven by higher net sales and lower material, labour and depreciation costs. Nevertheless, EBIT was lower than in 2022, mainly on account of lower storage revenue and EUR 23.3 million higher operating expenses due to inflationary pressures, additional recruitments and changes in the structure of the business. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2023 were also 37% higher than planned, at EUR 93.7 million.

The Group’s net profit for 2023 reached EUR 56.4 million, exceeding the target by 75%. The outperformance of the planned net result was also due to a positive result from financing of EUR 4.7 million, with a growth index of 151 compared to 2022. The net result achieved did not reach the 2022 level, which was planned considering the reduction in storage revenue.

Record cargo throughput in various commodity segments

In 2023 we achieved record throughput volumes in both strategic commodity groups – containers and cars – as well as in the Passenger Terminal, the Reefer Terminal and the Liquid Cargoes Terminal. In the container segment, we handled 1,066,093 TEUs in 2023, up 5 per cent compared to 2022. In the car segment, 916,728 cars were handled in 2023, up 14 per cent compared to 2022. This consolidated our position and confirmed our primacy among ports in the North Adriatic (in terms of containers) and the Mediterranean (cars). The Passenger Terminal welcomed 120,553 passengers in 2023, surpassing the remarkable achievement of 2019, when the port welcomed 115,581 passengers.

Last year we welcomed 1,642 ships, 20,609 trains and 422,811 trucks (six percent more than the year before). The ratio between road and rail in total throughput was slightly on the rail side at 52 percent.

Increased geopolitical tensions again increase uncertainty about the short-term outlook

The situation in logistics and supply chains has been further exacerbated by the start of the Red Sea attacks, affecting all stakeholders in logistics, including the final customers of goods in industrial production who depend on overseas transport through the Suez Canal. The diversion of ships around Africa has increased transit times by an average of 10 to 14 days, which means that most ship services from the Far East arrive in Koper with a delay. The longer transit times also have an indirect impact on ships transporting cargo across the Mediterranean via hub ports. No significant impact on operations was observed in December 2023, but due to the above-mentioned uneven distribution of cargo arrivals, delays in the arrival of ships and cargo will have an impact on the realisation of the monthly throughput plans in the first three months of 2024.

Continuation of development projects in 2024

In 2023 the Group invested EUR 41.5 million and completed several important projects such as the development of the car storage area in the so-called cassette 5A, the construction of new docking points for refrigerated containers, the construction of a new external Truck Terminal at the Sermin entrance, and the modernisation of the port’s fire-fighting and power systems. The investment trend set by the Port of Koper continues also this year. The construction of the 12th general cargo berth is underway, the public procurement procedure for automated warehouse 54 for steel products is on course, and the documentation and permits for the extension of the northern part of Pier I and the development of the Container Terminal area are being prepared. “In 2024 we are continuing to implement the major projects identified in our recently adopted Strategic Business Plan to 2028, including the expansion of the Container Terminal at Pier I, which will increase capacity to 1.75 million TEUs per year. Several investments related to the digital and climate transition and energy self-sufficiency, such as the installation of photovoltaic power plants on the roofs of the warehouses, are already underway,” said Nevenka Kržan, President of the Management Board of the Port of Koper, at the announcement of the financial results.