Lyttelton Port says 2010 profit may decline
Lyttelton Port says 2010 profit may fall on weaker first-half trading
Dec. 23 (BusinessWire) – Lyttelton Port Co., which is considering a merger with South Island rival Port Otago Ltd., said full-year profit may decline, reflecting weaker first-half trading.
Net profit is expected to be $9 million to $10 million in the 12 months ending June 30, 2010, from $10.06 million last year, the company said in a statement.
“The current financial year remains very challenging,” said chairman Rodger Fisher. “We do anticipate the volumes will increase in the latter six months of the financial year.”
Lyttelton and Port Otago have been in private talks about a merger or alliance, part of a response to changes in freight movements that is increasingly seeing shipping companies call at fewer ports as the industry reels from global losses. The companies hired Auckland-based consultancy Antipodes to assess the potential for a merger and its report has been twice delayed.
Fisher said the two ports will receive the Antipodes report today and Lyttelton will appoint an adviser to help review the findings in January before a formal review in February. The report won’t be made public.
Shares of Lyttelton last traded at $2.40 on Dec. 15, valuing the company at about $245 million. Port Otago isn’t publicly traded.