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Port of Taranaki profit jumps 57% as oil drives record sales

Port of Taranaki profit jumps 57% after record revenue on offshore oil and gas exploration

By Suze Metherell

Sept. 26 (BusinessDesk) - Port of Taranaki lifted annual profit 57 percent after it reported record revenue servicing the offshore oil and gas exploration industry.

Profit rose to $11.7 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $7.5 million a year earlier, the New Plymouth-based port said in its annual report. Sales rose 23 percent to $55.2 million, the highest ever for the ocean hub. It boosted its dividend 25 percent to $3.7 million, payable to its only shareholder, the Taranaki Regional Council.

The port benefited from being the closest port to Maui and Kupe gasfields and the three offshore rigs in the Taranaki basin, and as Texan oil company Anadarko occupied part of the port while it looked for oil in the Southern basin. One fifth of the port's revenue came from proving a supply base to the offshore operations, chief executive Roy Weaver said.

New Zealand's ports have been undergoing greater alignment in recent months, with Port of Tauranga ramping up its relationship with the Kotahi freight management partnership in a bid to attract larger ships to the hub, while Ports of Auckland have joined up with Port of Napier to create an inland hub in Palmerston North. At the same time, Lyttelton Port Co is set to be de-listed from the stock market after the Christchurch City Council's investment arm succeeded in a takeover bid.

New Plymouth's port today said bulk liquids, which includes methanol, crude oil and condensate and LPG and accounts for 78 percent of total trade through the port, grew by 23 percent in the year to 4.3 million freight tonnes. Dry bulk increased 20 percent to 600,000 freight tonnes. Log volumes were static in the year.

The port expected the decline in China's demand for logs, New Zealand's third largest export, to be felt on the wharves in the coming year, while the wind down of the gasfields would further weigh on future profit, its said, without being more specific.

(BusinessDesk)

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