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2017: Port of Bilbao reports 7% rise in port traffic with significant growth in dry bulk

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Dry Bulk,

The Port of Bilbao ended 2017 with a 7% traffic growth, which indicates a 2.2 million t increase over 2016. For the port, which is based in northern Spain, this is the greatest yearly tonnage increase since 2006.

According to the Port, the main tonnage increases were in the liquid bulks group, and in goods such as natural gas (+ 811 000 t), gasoil (+ 470 000) and crude oil (+ 277 000). In dry cargo there were significant increases in scrap iron (+ 120 000), iron and steel products (+ 101 000) and other minerals (+ 94 000 t).

Container traffic stood at 604 870 TEUs, with a 1.37% increase. Here, the growth in refrigerated containers (+2%) also stands out, and is in line with the Port of Bilbao commitment to being a distribution centre for perishable goods.

In addition, 5514 pieces classified as heavy loads or project cargo, due to their great weight, length, width or height, were shipped. This figure supposes a significant 23% increase over the previous year Ferry and cruise passenger traffic moved 186 546 people (-2%). There were 123 ferry calls and 61 cruises. The latter figure supposes ten cruise vessels more than in 2016 and a record for the new Getxo cruise maritime station in its opening year.

The European Atlantic is still the main geographical zone with a 41% market share. This is followed by the North American Atlantic and the African Atlantic. By countries, the United Kingdom still stands out with 16% growth, which thus consolidates Bilbao as the leading port in Spain for trade with Britain. Mexico and the US follow as second and third markets.

Turnover rose to €68.8 million, 5.47% more than the €65.2 million invoiced in the previous year, while funds generated reached €37 million.

There was no further bank debt, with net bank debt standing at €139.8 million, 1.08 times Ebitda, thus maintaining, a debt profile much lower than that of the Spanish port system average, which stands at 1.56 times Ebitda.

An additional income of €4 211 166 was received from the European Commission Infrastructure Programme under the TEN-T 2012 Efficient Operations and CEF 2015 Connecting Europe Facilities, corresponding to the work on the First Phase of the Central Pier in the Extension of the Port of Bilbao and to the Pancorbo Port-Rail Terminal respectively.

Throughout 2018, a reduction of €4.1 million in port taxes is scheduled calculated annually in accordance with the valuation of the lands and water of the Port, and a 10% decrease in the basic amount of the goods tax (T-3). The introduction of the lands evaluation is pending approval by the Ministry for Economic Development and the reduction in the goods tax on the publication of the General Law for State Budgets for 2018.

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