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Ports of Auckland reports record FY container volumes

Ports of Auckland reports record FY container volumes, 2.1% gain in profit before items

Aug. 25 (BusinessDesk) – Ports of Auckland reported a 2.1% gain in annual profit before items after record container volumes crossed its wharfs and break-bulk cargo jumped by about a quarter.

Profit excluding tax changes, asset sales and impairments rose to 24.9 million from $24.4million a year earlier, the Auckland City-owned company said in a statement today. Sales rose 7% to $177 million. Including one-time items, net profit dropped 37% to $23 million.

Chief executive Tony Gibson, announcing his inaugural annual profit, said container volumes would have been higher yet if not for the number of ships that bypassed Auckland because of scheduling clashes. The Auckland company, which is vying with Port of Tauranga to be the pre-eminent hubbing port for the North Island, reported a 7.7% gain in trans-shipment volumes. Tauranga’s surged 52%.

Container volumes at Auckland rose by 3%, or 27,015, to 894,383 twenty-foot equivalent units, making it the country’s biggest container port ahead of Tauranga, which handled 590,506 TEUs in its latest year.

Gibson said overall container volumes will probably drop from record levels in the current year “following recent shipping line changes” though revenue will be little changed from the previous year. Volumes of motor vehicles may fall as a result of the Japanese tsunami and new emissions rules, he said.

Breakbulk, or non-containerised, cargoes climbed 24% to 3.5 million tonnes, driven by an 11% gain in motor vehicle volumes and a 36% increase in commodities.

Auckland’s cruise ship visits rose to 79 and the company said a record 97 are booked for the current season, which takes in the Rugby World Cup.

Interest costs fell 2.4% to $20.7 million after Ports of Auckland repaid $19 million of debt, reducing the total to $240 million.

The port company is spending $8 million to deepen and extend its northern berth at the Fergusson Container Terminal by the end of the year, which will allow to ships of up to 5,500 TEU capacity to be worked simultaneously.

The port company paid a final dividend of $7.6 million to the city’s Auckland Council Investments, up from $7.2 million in 2010.

(BusinessDesk)

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