Ports of Auckland 1H profit soars 70 percent as cargo volumes climb
Feb. 19 (BusinessDesk) - Ports of Auckland, whose operations were disrupted in 2012 in a protracted industrial dispute, boosted first-half profit 70 percent as import and export cargo volumes climbed and it reaped the benefits of improved productivity.
Net profit rose to $26.4 million in the six months ended Dec. 31 from $15.5 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Operational earnings rose 47 percent to $40.4 million, and total container volumes rose 15 percent to 474,333 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
“Our productivity has gradually improved since we started restructuring in 2011,” chief executive Tony Gibson said. “In effect, the restructuring has enabled us to take advantage of an improving economy and Auckland’s continuing growth.”
Auckland lost business to Port of Tauranga because of the 2012 strike as shipping company Maersk diverted some services and Fonterra opted to move all of its upper North Island export dairy products through Tauranga.
The Auckland Council-owned port lifted its interim dividend payment to $20.94 million from $11.6 million a year earlier.
The port reported a 20 percent increase in full import containers and a 13 percent gain in full export containers. Break-bulk cargo volumes rose 42 percent to 2.87 million tonnes.
Gibson said volumes have held up since the start of the year, and prompted last month’s announcement that the port will invest in a new larger tug boat to handle bigger ships and two new straddle carriers to deal with the increased container numbers.