Auckland Port shareholders given bright outlook
Ports of Auckland will delay dredging its commercial shipping lane in the Rangitoto Channel, shareholders were told today.
Chief executive Geoff Vazey told the company's annual meeting in Auckland today that the dredging project could be delayed for up to a year.
"Melbourne also needs to dredge and until it does the new generation large vessels are unlikely to arrive in Auckland often at maximum draught."
Tidal access would have to do in the meantime, Mr Vazey said.
Ports of Auckland was recently named as one of three ports which would be used by the new generation container ships for a new eastward round-the-world shipping service.
Auckland is the only New Zealand port of call for a new westward round-the-world service also. Mr Vazey confirmed the company had had a strong start to the 2003 financial year with container volumes growing 11 percent in the September quarter, compared to the previous year. Import containers were showing a substantial increase, particularly in consumer and manufacturing goods, while export volumes were stable.
Chairman Neville Darrow told shareholders Ports of Auckland was continuing along a steady path, "with established operating efficiencies in place and with strong inherent advantages to be further built upon".
Earlier this year Port of Auckland recorded a June year net profit of $46.5 million from $44.3 million a year earlier.
The company declared an increased final dividend of 17.5 cents per share, up from 12 cents a year earlier.
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