HIGHLIGHTS – for the six months ended 31 December 2014
- Net profit after tax (unaudited): $28.9m compared to $26.4m for the same period last year.
- Earnings before tax (unaudited): $33.6m against $36.1m for the same period last year. This is mainly the result of the timing of repairs and maintenance spending and the costs associated with the flow-on effect of off-schedule ships, largely due to congestion at overseas ports.
- Container volumes up 3%: 490,723 TEU compared to 476,349 TEU in the same period last year.
- Break-bulk volumes up 7.7%: 3.08m tonnes compared to 2.86m tonnes for the same period last year.
- Car volumes up 19%: 118,765 units compared to 99,710 units for the same period last year.
Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson said he was pleased with the result. Container volumes rose 3% against an expectation that volumes would fall as a result of the loss of a significant service and given the impact from congestion at overseas ports. Freight volumes in all other areas increased, with the largest rise being in imported car units which were up 19%. “The company’s high productivity and proximity to market had been key factors in retaining existing business and attracting new customers”, he said.
An interim dividend of $25.5m will be paid to Auckland Council Investments Limited, for the benefit of ratepayers.
Looking forward, freight volumes are expected to continue to rise as Auckland’s economy and population grow. To meet this demand Ports of Auckland is embarking on a strategic capital investment programme.
Fergusson container wharf is being extended to cater for longer ships. A new truck facility has been built to speed up container handling and rail services to the inland port at Wiri have been quadrupled, resulting in 3000 fewer truck movements a month to and from the terminal.
The port is making significant investments in rail and the off-port supply chain – at Wiri and Longburn intermodal freight hubs – and we continue to relocate activities off-site which do not need to be at the sea port. Our aim is to use our land more efficiently by only undertaking essential activities on the waterfront.
The Multi-Cargo business has grown rapidly, particularly car imports which are up 19% from the previous year and cement imports which will roughly double in 2016. More freight and longer ships are putting pressure on the berths in this part of the port, so Ports of Auckland will extend two berths on Bledisloe Multi-Purpose Terminal to provide sufficient capacity for future growth. Construction will start in April and be completed by late 2016.
Later this year work will start on a new tug berth to the west of Jellicoe wharf. The existing berth will be vacated which will create the potential to open the area up for public access once it is no longer needed for tugs and freight.
“The work we have done to improve productivity will be complemented by these new investments”, said Mr Gibson. “They will enhance our capacity and enable us to cater for increased demand as it eventuates.”
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