GVHA Targets Long-term Sustainability
Sep 05, 2012
(News Release) VICTORIA — Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the operation and development of several key properties on Victoria’s waterfront, enjoyed another year of growth and successful financial performance. In concert with the arrival of new President and CEO, Curtis Grad, and the Board’s refinement of its governance structure, GVHA re-aligned its strategic priorities, shifting focus to diversification of business activity while emphasizing long-term planning initiatives.
“My first priority when I joined GVHA was positioning the company for future, long-term sustainability,” said Grad. “The organization had successfully reinvigorated several distressed harbour properties, since acquisition in 2002, establishing a sound financial and commercial base. With these important building blocks in place, the time has come to concentrate on the next stage in GVHA’s evolution. The focus for the team has now shifted to long-term planning for GVHA’s properties, with a view to integrate our individual facility plans with a broader harbour-wide master plan.”
To achieve those goals and maintain fiscal stability, GVHA pursued diversification of business activity, particularly in shipping calls and new commercial clients. In fiscal 2011/12, Ogden Point was visited by 11 freighters for cargo hold cleaning, 11 yacht transport visits, a submarine floating dry dock operation and the log salvage from a vessel damaged at sea. New commercial/property agreements include Whitehall Reproductions Canada Ltd, Puerto Vallarta Amigos, Seaquest Explorations, and Victoria Marine Rescue Society.
GVHA’s increasing revenues are a result of business diversification and planned growth. The organization exceeded its revenue budget by almost 7%, posting revenues of $7.45 million. Cruise visits brought over 435,000 passengers to Victoria. Marina revenues increased by 16% as a result of an alignment to competitive market rates and an 83% increase in moorage resulting from the Fisherman’s Wharf reconfiguration. Property services posted a modest increase over the previous year reflecting the new commercial agreements. Fisherman’s Wharf revenues remained strong due, in part, to the large fish off-loading activity, 3.8 million pounds, and fuel sales at the Victoria Marine Fuels facility with 2.75 litres of fuel sold.
Fiscal restraint was a priority for the company’s expenses, which came in slightly under budget at a total of $7.4 million. Major budgeted expenses included an intense maintenance plan at all facilities.
Capital spending was held at just under $800,000 while the management team conducted a comprehensive review of capital priorities to support GVHA’s strategic objectives. Securing a long-term lease with the Provincial Capital Commission for the CPR Steamship Terminal building was an important step in diversifying its revenue stream and fulfilling a broader vision. The new strategic approach reflects stronger alignment with the needs of customers, stakeholders and port users. Critical investments included pavement and caisson (underwater reinforcement) repairs at Ogden Point, new floats for Inner Harbour ferry operations, and new steel pilings in the Inner Harbour.
At the end of fiscal 2012, GVHA posted an actual net surplus of $120,077.
“The solid financial position allows GVHA to advance its mandate as a steward of Victoria’s working harbour and focus on the vision of long-term sustainability and catalyzing the development of a harbour-wide master plan,” said Grad.
GVHA’s audited financial statements and the Management Discussion & Analysis of the Audited Financial 2011/12 statements are available online here.