13 September 2017
Rising export tide benefits Port Otago
The strength of the primary export market has been reinforced with the results of Port Otago Limited this year.
It’s the fourth year of incremental growth for the port, on the back of a 13% improvement in group profit to $38.7 million (2016: $34.1 million), off revenues of $89.6 million for the year, generated by strong port operations as well as the sale of a $6.9 million land parcel in Hamilton.
The performance came on the back of a 14% increase in conventional cargo volumes to 1.5 million tonnes, largely driven by a 144,000 tonne increase in log exports to a record 957,000 tonnes out of both Port Chalmers and Dunedin. Fertiliser volumes were also up, increasing by 44% to 135,000 tonnes.
Returns from Port Otago’s property investment arm Chalmers Properties Limited (CPL) again reflected the importance of investment diversification, with rentals up 6% to $14.8 million. CPL’s portfolio -through properties in Auckland, Hamilton and Dunedin - was valued at $330 million, an increase of $34 million from 2016.
During the year resource consents were secured for disposal of dredging material for the next 25 years, providing an assurance that the port can deliver on its planned Harbour deepening to cater for larger vessels.
Presenting the results to the ORC today, Port Otago chairman David Faulkner said the performance was gratifying against a backdrop of extensive investment into infrastructural expansion of the port and its facilities, including the progress on deepening of the shipping channel to Port Chalmers to 14 metres. “The next stage will be the 135-metre, $21 million extension of the multi-purpose wharf, which will begin this month.”
Mr Faulkner said from the vantage point of the region, it was also exciting to have a record 89 cruise vessels confirmed for the upcoming season, following on from the 79 during the 2016 season. “The new cruise passenger facility at Port Chalmers has been a welcome enhancement for the thousands of passengers during their transit to and from local tourist activities and will help the port cater for the expected growth in this market.
“Driving all of this has been our executive management team, led by port CEO Geoff Plunket, who’s recently retired. Geoff was an important part of delivering the strategic vision for the port and on behalf of the board, I’d like to acknowledge his leadership of the company over the past 13 years and involvement for the past 29.
“The board has the utmost confidence in the leadership team under new CEO Kevin Winders to steer the port through its next phase of growth.”
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For further comment:
Mr David Faulkner
Chairman – Port Otago Limited
027 495 7576