PortsToronto Releases 2020 Financial Statements

Toronto (May 4, 2021) – PortsToronto today released its 2020 Audited Financial Statements, which report on the financial performance of business units and the organization overall during what was a challenging year due to the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Although business units such as the marine Port of Toronto and the Outer Harbour Marina recorded strong financial results, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport experienced a significant and material decline in revenues due to the temporary suspension of commercial air carrier service in March 2020, and the related decrease in passenger travel and associated fees.
Overall, PortsToronto reported operating revenues of $36.6 million in 2020, a significant drop of $24.4 million from 2019 revenue of $61.0 million. In addition, PortsToronto had a net loss in 2020 of $12.6 million versus net income of $3.5 million in 2019, a change of $16.1 million year-over-year.
In terms of business unit performance, the marine Port of Toronto experienced a strong year in 2020 and, for the fourth consecutive year, moved more than two million metric tonnes of bulk and general cargo products. The port and its activities reported operating income from all sources of $4.4 million, up from the year prior that recorded $3.4 million, which can be attributed to cargo handling, storage and port leases that resulted in an increase in net income.
There were 174 ship visits, bringing sugar, salt, cement, aggregate and steel directly to the heart of the city. General cargo into the port totaled 67,882 metric tonnes (MT) which consisted of steel imports (59,381 MT), containers (8,157 MT) and project cargo (344 MT). Eleven ships brought in steel imports from around the world, including rail, rebar, steel plate and coils. For the first time in many years short sea shipping resulted in the movement of 375 containers transported by ship from the Port of Montreal to the Port of Toronto. Further, the Port of Toronto welcomed the first of several bridge spans from Nova Scotia via tug and barge for Waterfront Toronto's Villiers Island project. While cargo shipments continued unabated, passenger cruise ships have been impacted by pandemic-related travel restrictions, resulting in a temporary suspension of cruise ship activity in Canada for 2020 and 2021.
The financial performance of the Outer Harbour Marina remained consistent with prior years given the demand for winter storage in the 2020-2021 winter season and summer berthing renewals remained strong. The occupancy rate for summer berthing increased to just above 88 per cent in 2020 and remained at 100% for winter outdoor and indoor storage. The Outer Harbour Marina’s operating income increased to $2.4 million on revenues of $4.8 million.
Property and Other, including investments, reported operating income of $4.4 million, down marginally from $4.6 million the year prior. Property and Other includes the rental of various properties along the waterfront as well as Marine Terminal #51 and the Cruise Ship Terminal in the port. Investment income includes income earned on PortsToronto’s cash reserves, which dropped in 2020 versus 2019, due to lower interest rates and a decrease in the principal invested.
Billy Bishop Airport had a challenging year in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. In March 2020, Porter Airlines and Air Canada announced the temporary suspension of commercial service to/from Billy Bishop Airport. Current guidance issued by the airlines indicates a summer 2021 restart which is predicated on the reduction of travel restrictions and increase in passenger demand as vaccinations increase and the pandemic begins to subside. Due to the temporary suspension of commercial service, Billy Bishop Airport welcomed 389,000 business and leisure travelers in 2020, which was down significantly from 2,774,000 in 2019, and generated revenue of $18.2 million, down from $41.7 million, which included $2.2 million in revenue from Airport Improvement Fees (AIF). Operating income for Billy Bishop Airport was $3.0 million in 2020, down significantly from $22.1 million recorded in 2019.
“Our organization entered 2020 in a strong financial position due to a solid balance sheet, growing passenger numbers at the airport, and expectations of another record year at the Port. However, the global pandemic confirmed in March 2020 has had a significant impact on our business, particularly as relates to Billy Bishop Airport,” said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “With Billy Bishop Airport accounting for the majority of revenues, PortsToronto had a challenging year and was forced to take steps to preserve cash and protect resources through general cost cutting, the deferral of capital projects, and staff reductions, all done in order to weather the storm.”
“However, with vaccinations being rolled out, infection numbers beginning to decline, and consumer confidence returning, we are confident that Porter Airlines and Air Canada will restart commercial operations in the coming months at Billy Bishop Airport and we can begin to rebuild our airport business,” continued Wilson. “We have spent the past year making difficult decisions and are now looking forward to welcoming back our passengers and returning the organization to a position of strong financial performance, so that we can continue to provide essential transportation and infrastructure that serves Toronto and the surrounding region, and supports overall economic recovery.”
Despite the financial challenges presented and the operational impacts of COVID-19, PortsToronto’s made all of its government payments in 2020. PortsToronto paid $3.2 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILTs) to the City of Toronto in 2020, as well as paying $2.5 million toward realty taxes. The amounts accrued and paid to the federal government and to the City of Toronto together total $6.7 million for 2020, and $8.7 million for 2019, representing 18.3% and 14.3% of PortsToronto’s Operating Revenue in fiscal years 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Annual General Meeting
Due to current restriction on group gatherings, and in respect of physical distancing and COVID-19 protocols, PortsToronto will hold its 2020 Annual General Meeting online. The meeting will be held on June 14, 2021, and will begin at 9:30 a.m. Instructions for registering for the meeting will be forthcoming, with all details related to participation being posted to PortsToronto’s website in advance.
About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $12 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
Media Contact:
Deborah Wilson
Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, PortsToronto
E-mail: Deborah.wilson@portstoronto.com