19 Aug 2011

Record profit for Port of Tauranga

7:33 am on 19 August 2011

Port of Tauranga made a record annual profit as more cargo passed over its wharves.

The port made an underlying net profit of $57.9 million in the year to the end of June, an increase of 17% on the previous year.

Revenue rose 25% to $185 million.

Chief executive Mark Cairns says it exported more forest and dairy products, and imports of fertilizer and grain and dairy feed supplements.

Mr Cairns said the rise in shipping volume of 15 % was due partly to consolidation from other ports as well as economic recovery.

"What did surprise us (was that) export volumes were up 11% but import volumes were up 13%.

"I think ports are a little bit of a bellwether of the economy given 99% of the trade volumes go through the port."

Looking ahead, he expects stronger earnings due to continuing foreign demand for logs, and shifting more containers, including that between ships at the port.

The port declared a dividend of 21 cents per share, compared with 20c last year.