,AmInvestment Bank said the cruise termitnal can accommodate up to two big vessels and one small vessel per day.
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PETALING JAYA: Westports Holdings Bhd’s newly-acquired Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC) terminal is expected to start generating profits once travel restrictions have been lifted.
With its business affected by the pandemic, it is anticipated to return to normalcy in the next two years as the vaccine rollout gains traction.
The immediate goal is to get BCC ready for the return of cruise traffic as soon as possible.
According to reports, BCC has been loss-making due to hefty interest expenses to the tune of between RM17mil and RM18mil per annum.
According to AmInvestment Bank, this will effectively be eliminated with a debt-free balance sheet upon the change in ownership to Westports and its equal partner, MMC Corp Bhd.
“Westports has no intention of revamping BCC’s business model and management team. The immediate goal is to get BCC ready for the return of cruise traffic upon the easing of travelling restrictions.
“It is hopeful that the tourism industry (including cruise shipping) will return to normalcy by 2022 thanks to the large-scale vaccine rollout globally. When that happens, Westports believes that BCC will return to profitability.”
AmInvestment Bank said the cruise termitnal can accommodate up to two big vessels and one small vessel per day.
“Pre-pandemic, it recorded an average of 190 vessel calls per annum. Based on Westports’ target of two vessel calls per day post-pandemic, we estimate that BCC could fetch an annual net profit of between RM25mil and RM30mil, which shall enhance Westports’ overall profit by 4%.”
It was reported last week that Boustead Holdings Bhd had entered into a RM230mil deal to dispose of its entire stake in a cruise terminal in Klang, Selangor to Westports and MMC Corp.
Westports will acquire a 50% equity interest in BCC for RM115mil cash, while MMC Corp, through a unit Klang Port Management Sdn Bhd, will take the remaining 50% stake also for the same price of RM115mil.
TA Securities also believes that BCC will turn profitable under its new owners.
“Post-acquisition, BCC could be profitable as the hefty finance cost will be omitted as the deal does not involve liabilities, including contingent liabilities and guarantees, to be assumed by the purchasers.
“Having said that, Westports expects BCC to incur losses for 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the cruise and tourism industries worldwide. Nevertheless, the losses are expected to reduce to the level of between RM1mil and RM2mil, before turning around in 2022.”