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Tauranga Port Half Year Net Profit Up 2 Pct

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 25 NZPA - Port of Tauranga lifted half year net profit 2 percent on a year earlier to $23.1 million, although tonnage through the port fell 5 percent to 6.5 million tonnes.

Port of Tauranga chairman John Parker said the 2009 year was extremely challenging, with the global recession significantly affecting imports.

Despite reduced trade, the port achieved an increase in earnings, largely by cost reduction and without an increase in customer tariff rates, Mr Parker said.

Revenue in the six months to December fell 9 percent to $67.05m from $73.76m a year earlier.

Exports grew nearly 10 percent in the latest half year, but container volumes were down by 18 percent. The improved export tonnages were particularly in logs, up 31 percent and dairy up 44 percent, the port said.

The recession in 2009 had prompted the consolidation of shipping lines and while that gained the port increased exports, it lost imports, which was being addressed by management.

The interim dividend payment had been maintained at 9c per share.

Chief executive Mark Cairns said it was believed the container market would remain volatile in the short term with approximately 10 percent of global container capacity idle.

The forestry market had been trading strongly during the second half of 2009, and market indications suggested that would continue into 2010, Mr Cairns said.

It was difficult to accurately forecast the remaining half of this financial year, but the company anticipated a gradual improvement in economic growth.

At this stage the port maintained its previous guidance of a full year earnings result similar to last year's, which was a record.

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