22 Feb 2013

Port of Tauranga announces record profit

7:21 am on 22 February 2013

The country's biggest export port has reported a record high first half year profit due to selling a business and higher cargo volumes.

Port of Tauranga made $74.2 million in the six months to December, more than doubling the previous year's profit.

Excluding the $35 million sale of its half share in stevedoring firm C3, the port's underlying profit rose 13% to $39.2 million.

Revenue rose 12% to $119 million with container volumes rising by a quarter and strong growth in forestry and dairy volumes.

Meanwhile, a jump in export cargoes is expected to underpin full year earnings at Port of Tauranga.

Chief executive Mark Cairns said it's benefiting from large shippers calling at fewer ports, while it retained some 95% of the business it gained from strike action at its main rival, Ports of Auckland.

He said the company is still on target to make a full-year profit of $75 - $79 million, compared with last year's profit of $73.5 million, due in part to stronger demand for logs from China.

The company declared a higher dividend of 20 cents a share.

Shares in the Port of Tauranga closed up 4 cents to $13.85 on Thursday.