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Port of Tauranga keen for further growth

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 27th October 2000

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Opportunities beyond the Bay of Plenty continue to beckon for listed port operator Port of Tauranga.

The company, which already has interests in Metroport in South Auckland and a new deepwater port at Marsden Point, has also recently taken the first step towards a worldwide port alliance by signing a heads of agreement with the Port of Brisbane.

POT chairman, Fraser McKenzie, told shareholders at the company's AGM today that the agreement paves the way for sharing technologies, marketing, trade information and specialised expertise.

"Our goal is to ultimately be part of a global alliance of ports that work together to build business opportunities."

Mr McKenzie says the past year has been one of expansion and new ventures for the port, and that by balancing growth and diversification the company achieved a 32% lift in revenue in 2000, from $52.8million last year to $69.8million.

He says the port's record result was driven by strong growth in trade volumes and container traffic. This was helped the Australia NZ Direct Line's decision to move its New Zealand port of call from Auckland to Tauranga, which attracted new business both locally and from Waikato.

The Metroport investment has also been profitable and the company is looking at making it a 24-hour, 7-day operation.

Mr McKenzie says the port's future focus will be to continually improve its core business while looking for new business opportunities.

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