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Luka Koper plans higher revenue, lower profit for 2020

Koper, 13 December (STA) - Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's only sea port Koper, plans to increase group net sales revenue in 2020 by 4% against 2019, while net profit is planned 19% below this year's EUR 39 million. The cargo transshipped next year should rise by 3% from this year's estimated 23.4 million tonnes.

The group plans to end 2019 with EUR 228.5 million in net sales revenue, up 1% over 2018 and 6% below plans, Luka said in a release on Friday after its 2020 business plan and the 2020-2025 strategic business plan were endorsed by the supervisory board.

Luka's net profit should reach EUR 39.4 million this year, exceeding the plans by 3%, with its operating profit to be in line with the plans at EUR 44.2 million.

The group will end the year with 30% more employees than at the year of 2018, chiefly as a result of employing workers who had previously been hired from agencies.

Director general Dimitrij Zadel believes the 30% rise is quite a burden, especially since another 346 agency workers are planned to be hired.

This will significantly raise labour costs as well as the costs of port services next year, he said in the release.

The group's costs will further rise because of a newly-introduced charge on transshipment, one of the sources for the construction of the Koper-Divača rail track.

The business daily Finance has recently reported it will cost Luka EUR 6 million annually.

The group said all these costs will affect its net profit in 2020, which is to be consequently by 19% below the 2019 plan, but will nevertheless exceed EUR 30 million.

Under the strategic plan until 2025, Luka plans to increase sales revenue by 24% to EUR 279.4 million and transshipment to over 27 million tonnes a year.

As much as EUR 576 million is planned for investment, of which EUR 213.5 million into public transport infrastructure.

The port would like to expand its capacity to some 30 million tonnes a year, getting ready for the second rail track, when the rail transport capacity should rise.

By the time the second rail track is finished, expectedly in 2026, Luka plans to transport at least 60% of cargo by rail.

It would also like to increase value added per employee to EUR 93,353, while its vision is to become the leading port and logistics group for Central and Eastern Europe.

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