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Positive year for Port Nelson Limited

Positive year for Port Nelson Limited

Port Nelson Limited held its Annual General Meeting this morning, announcing a net surplus of $6.7 million, with revenue $2.4 million ahead of budget. This will deliver the shareholders, Nelson City and Tasman District Council, a dividend of $3.9million, on top of the $25 million paid out at the end of last year through a share buy-back.

Port company chair Nick Patterson said the increased profit was derived from several areas of company operations.

·"We had higher than anticipated cargo volumes, particularly in logs, vehicles, dairy products and wine; and the continued move towards containerisation of cargo such as sawn timber is proving more lucrative for us," he said. "There was also the continued increase in Nelson property values, which flowed through into higher rental income."

Cargo volumes were the highest in the history of the company, at 2.644 million tonnes, 89,000 tonnes more than expected; and the number of containers handled through the port exceeded 70,000 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) for the first time.

The main investments at the port during the year were in paving and the ŒOne Gate' project, consolidating staff from three separate operational sites into a new facility at the Carkeek St entrance.

Mr Patterson said continued rationalisation within the shipping industry remained a challenge for Port Nelson, as it is for other New Zealand ports.

"This was highlighted with the withdrawal of the former Maersk Asian service," he said. "We continue to make all efforts to ensure Nelson remains attractive to overseas shipping lines, but are also realistic that as vessels get larger there are likely to be further changes to existing services, particularly for smaller regional ports."

There was a change in the line up around the board table for this year's AGM, with long serving directors Murray Sturgeon and Bob Dickinson having been replaced late last year by Bronwyn Monopoli and Tim King.

The port company will hold its Annual Public Briefing at the Trafalgar Park Pavilion at 4pm on Friday 26th October.


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