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Diversification key to Port of Tauranga record result

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 25th August 2000

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Port of Tauranga has posted a full year net profit of $19.65 million and says its strategy of diversification is behind the record result.

Chairman, Fraser McKenzie, says the result comes on the back of strong growth in trade volumes and container traffic, and is an increase of 9% over the 1999 results despite relatively static volumes in its traditional cargo mainstay, logs

He says the port set itself three fundamental challenges during 2000 - to maintain effective management of its day-to-day operations, bedding in the new Metroport Auckland service, and pursuing future growth opportunities - and demonstrated success on all three fronts.

"The Port of Tauranga is now the country's second largest container port by volume. In the first full year of operation for our dry, inland port - Metroport Auckland - total container volumes through the Port rose by 110

"This was largely due to Australia New Zealand Direct Line moving its New Zealand port of call from Auckland to Tauranga. This decision helped to attract significant new business from customers in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, particularly from the dairy, meat, timber, pulp and paper industry."

The company says its decision to enter a joint venture with Northland Port to develop and operate the Marsden Point facility was a further example that it recognized growth opportunities shouldn't be confined by geographical boundaries.

"The joint venture will see the Port of Tauranga deploy its expertise in project management, marketing and
operational skills to create a world best practice forestry and break bulk facility in Northland where cargo volumes are predicted to increase significantly."

The port's board has recommended shareholders be paid a fully imputed final dividend of 14 cents a share, making a total of 22 cents a share, up from 18 cents a share in 1999.

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