|CentrePort Lifts Profit Performance|
|Friday, 24 September 2010 11:12|
Despite “difficult” economic conditions through the 2009/10 year, CentrePort lifted underlying profit before tax to $13.7million– up 20% on the previous year.
CentrePort Chairman Warren Larsen said the result reflected an improvement across “virtually all areas of the business.”
The directors declared a final dividend of $3.17 million, bringing the total dividend for the year to $5.17m.
“The result represented a very satisfactory achievement, and will support further port and property- related investment in the business,” Mr Larsen said.
“CentrePort has an essential transport role for the future, both nationally and regionally. The continued growth of the business confirms that” he added.
Mr Larsen said “the port sector debate to date has overlooked the need to consider the overall transport supply chain in New Zealand. Port rationalisation does not mean closing ports. It means redefining their role” he said.
Describing a $2.3m increase in underlying profit for the group against the previous year as “a pleasing result” Chief Executive Blair O’Keeffe said a cornerstone of the result was the diversity of CentrePort’s portfolio.
“We have one of the most diverse portfolio’s in the country, featuring oil, cement, coastal traffic, cruise, logs, timber, scrap metal, vehicles, containerised cargo, storage and transport services, joint ventures and commercial and industrial property” he added.
The port division of the company posted an underlying profit before tax of $9.2m, similar to last year. Supporting this result, container and log export volumes were up 4% and 58% respectively. Vehicle volumes increased 32% and joint venture Company returns also improved on the previous year. CentrePort also retained all of its international shipping services throughout the year.
The port welcomed 47 cruise ships, down on last year, but 61 would visit in the coming year and even more the following, reflecting the investment by the port in quality facilities and work with the city to attract the Cruise trade.
The property division of the company posted a 95% increase in income.
Low interest rates and sustainable productivity gains also contributed to the result.
Mr O’Keeffe said that during the year, CentrePort had carried out a full strategic review of its business.
“With freight volumes in New Zealand set to double in the next 20-30 years, CentrePort’s central location is well positioned for growth. Government investment in Roads of National Significance and Rail between Auckland and Christchurch will further reinforce the importance of Wellington as a key transport hub” he said.
“With an outlook of growth for the majority of our diverse portfolio, our challenge now is to capture that growth and build on it. The Port is the heart of our business and has strong growth prospects. We will continue to invest in it and build diversity around it”.
Contact: Blair O’Keeffe
021 433 754