12 Dec 2012

Napier Port announces $11m profit

7:30 am on 12 December 2012

Napier Port has jumped ahead of Auckland to become the second largest export port by volume in the North Island after handling 3.7 million tonnes in the year to September.

The port, owned by Hawke's Bay Regional Council, made a profit of $1.1 million, 2% more than the previous year.

Revenue jumped 11% to $60.3 million.

The port handled nearly 1 million tonnes of export logs and growing apple volumes. It also benefited from the dairy boom as well as increased meat exports and processed fruit and vegetables.

Container volumes rose 8.5%, while a record 69 cruise ships berthed during the year.

Napier Port chief executive Garth Cowie says the company worked hard to win business outside the region.

Mr Cowie says soaring energy and insurance costs ate into the profits. He says over the last two years the port's insurance premiums for material damage covering earthquakes and tsunami have risen from $300,000 to $1.6 million a year, and the excess has gone from $500,000 to $20 million.

Despite the high costs, Garth Cowie says he expects the profit to rise again next year.

The port paid a dividend of $5.9 million to owner Hawke's Bay Regional Council.