23 Feb 2017

Record cargo volumes boost Port of Tauranga's profits

3:53 pm on 23 February 2017

The country's biggest export port operator, the Port of Tauranga, has boosted its first-half profit by 8.5 percent due to a rebound in cargo volumes.

Port of Tauranga

Port of Tauranga Photo: RNZ / Joanne O'Brien

The company's net profit stood at $41.9 million in the six months ended December, compared with last year's $38.6m.

Revenue rose 2.8 percent to $125.3m as it moved a record amount of cargo over its wharves, including more than 510,000 TEU containers.

"Our trade [is] up strongly, we've got a strong recovery in logs up 21 percent, but I think it's really pleasing we've finished our capital dredging programme and we're actually seeing that being used by larger ships sooner than we expected," Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said.

"We're likely to be exceeding a million containers [in the June 2017 year] which will be a first for a New Zealand port."

Half-year trade volumes grew 8 percent to 11m tonnes.

Export volumes jumped 9 percent to 7.1m tonnes, led by the rebound in logs, while dairy and kiwifruit more than offset a decline in frozen meat .

Imports rose 7 percent to 3.9m, with the main contribution coming from fertilizers, along with goods such as dry chemicals, bulk liquids, cement and salt.

The port retained its full-year profit guidance of between $79m and $83m before one-off items, and Mr Cairns said the strong first half meant it should be at the top end of the range.

"We are consolidating our position as the port of choice for international shipping lines," Mr Cairns said.

The company raised its interim dividend by 9 percent to 5 cents a share.

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