23 Feb 2018

Port of Tauranga reports 13 percent net profit rise

3:07 pm on 23 February 2018

The country's biggest port operator has posted a record half year profit, as it handled a record number of containers.

Port of Tauranga

Port of Tauranga Photo: RNZ / Joanne O'Brien

The Port of Tauranga's net profit for the six months ended December rose nearly 13 percent to $47.1 million.

The company handled 591,000 containers during the period as it benefited from being the only New Zealand port able to handle super-large container ships.

It's also growing as a hub for cargo being sent to and from smaller regional ports, as well gathering more cargo through its South Auckland-based Metroport facility, which is sent by KiwiRail to the port.

"We are delighted by the amount of transshipment occurring from other New Zealand ports, with transshipment volumes having more than trebled for the six-month period, the largest increases occurring from the South Island ports and Napier," chief executive Mark Cairns said.

Bulk cargo volumes also rose, driven by rising log exports, while it said it also handled increased numbers of used car imports.

Overall it handled 12.5 million tonnes of cargo, up 13 percent on the year before, which was behind a similar sized rise in revenue.

Mr Cairns said the port was getting the payback from its $350m investment in dredging and infrastructure over recent years, and it had capacity to handle more trains, and store more containers.

The company also has stakes in port operations in Northland and Timaru, both of which delivered increased earnings.

It said it was on track to handle more than 1.2 million containers for the year, and forecast a rise in full year profit of at least 10 percent to between $92m to $96m.

The company increased its interim dividend to 5.7 cents a share.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs