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Volumes Grow Across Key Trade Areas

16th July 2004

Volumes Grow Across Key Trade Areas

Three of Lyttelton Port Company’s key trade drivers – containers, coal and bulk fuel – all experienced growth in the financial year ended 30 June 2004.

“We are very pleased with the volume growth across our key trades and in particular the 8% increase in total containers through the port and 20% increase in containers through our container terminal,” says Chief Executive Peter Davie.

“Growth through the container terminal exceeded our forecast and was due in part, to the extremely strong export season from February to May. This performance contributed to overall volume growth of 4% for the company.”

Stronger than anticipated volumes in the second half of the year impacted favourably on our projected financial results for the full year. We therefore report an upgrade in expected Net Profit After Taxation from $11.6M, forecast in February, to approximately $12.0M.

In keeping with our six monthly reporting regime, we provide the following trade volume statistics for the 12 months ending 30 June 2004, together with updated projections for the financial year ending on 30 June 2005.

LPC Trade Volume Information

Trade Statistics -12 months Actual to 30 June 2004 vs 12 months to 30 June 2003.

Key statistics (see attached schedule) for the twelve months are:

Total volume up 4% Container terminal (LCT) volume up 20% to 161,200 TEU’s Total Port Containers up 8% to 202,800 TEU’s Coal exports up 3% to 2,086,000 tonnes Bulk fuel up 13% to 1,127,200 tonnes Motor Vehicles up 2% to 53,450 units Dry bulk down 1% to 579,100 tonnes Other volume up 1% to 301,600 tonnes Ship visits down 9% from 1,424 to 1,293

Commentary

Containers Growth through the container terminal was greater than anticipated, due to an extremely strong export season and solid growth in base volumes by key shipping lines. In addition, transhipped container numbers have remained very high and included an increased volume of coastal trade being transported by international carriers. There was also an increase in the number of empty containers being re-positioned by lines.

Looking forward, total container terminal growth in 2004/05 is forecast to be 5.5%, however the effect of this on total volumes will be partially off-set by the full year effect of the reduction in the number of coastal vessels.

Coal Volumes Despite a 3% increase on 2003 volumes, the port did not achieve forecast volumes of coal. This was attributable to the reduction in available rail capacity between Lyttelton and the West Coast. Looking ahead, we have received assurances that required enhancements will be effected and we have forecasted 2004/5 volumes exported to be not less than 2.3 million tonnes. Of this volume, 80,000 tonnes is expected to be delivered to the port by barge from the West Coast.

Bulk Fuel Volumes rose 13% from 994,000 to 1.1 million tonnes. Much of this increase can be attributed to solid growth in aviation fuel as Christchurch Airport continues to attract new international services and increased domestic activity. Volumes for next year are forecast to increase a further 3%. Motor Vehicles Demand for vehicles remained strong throughout the year, however the trend flattened out slightly towards the end of the period. Volumes were up 2% to 53,450 units and are forecast to increase to 56,500 in the 2004/5 year.

Log Volumes Volumes were down 37% to 109,500 tonnes. This was due to widely publicised challenging export conditions. Volumes for the 2004/5 period are likely to rebound and we expect 150,000 tonnes for the coming year.

Dry bulk As projected, volumes are down marginally on last year, which saw record import volumes for the agricultural sector.

Ship visits This year saw a total number of 1,293 ships visit Lyttelton, down from 1,424 visits the previous year. This reflected the reduction in coastal visits, a reduction in fishing fleet activity and some consolidation of services by international lines. We are anticipating that the trade growth outlined above will result in a minor increment in ship visits in 2004/5.

“Looking ahead, we have a very clear understanding of what we have to do to continue to grow our business. We are in the process of enhancing our services and developing the facilities that are needed for the long term success of Lyttelton Port,” says Mr Davie.

ENDS

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