Galveston Closes 2020 With Positive Cash Flow

The Galveston Wharves has announced that it ended 2020 with a positive cash flow “despite the pandemic and the related suspension of our cruise business.”

According to a press statement from CEO and Port Director Rodger Rees, Galveston achieved this thanks to reducing its expenses and generating additional revenues.

“In 2020 income from operations, grants and investments totaled $29 million, while expenses totaled just over $27 million, leaving us with a positive cash flow of $2 million,” Rees wrote in the statement. “This is important because the port is a city-owned, self-sustaining entity. We must generate all of the money we need to operate and maintain the port. We have no taxing authority and receive no city property taxes.”

According to him, Galveston’s operating income for 2020 was $27.4 million, of which more than 40 percent was cargo. $7.2 million came from cruising, including cruise parking, before the March 2020 suspension. Just over $6 million was lay revenues, $1.9 million was real estate leases, and $800,000 was everything else, including non-cruise parking.

Galveston’s expenses totaled $27 million in 2020, which is $11.3 million less than in 2019, according to the press statement.

Rees said that the Galveston Wharves board of directors has adopted a “conservative 2021 budget based on past performance and realistic forecasts for the coming months.”

“We’re forecasting operating revenues of $37.5 million compared to $27 million in 2020. This projection is based on a phased resumption of our cruise business, with full operations in 2022,” he said.

“We’ve forecast $3 million in operating revenues from lay dockage in 2021. While it doesn’t generate the jobs that cruise and cargo do, docking lay ships generates revenue at low expense from otherwise unused docks. As cruise sailings ramp up, we’ll have less dock space for lay ships,” Reese added.

The 2021 budget is subject to alterations as the port expects “changes to the assumptions” used in preparing it.

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