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FIRST CUT: Port of Tauranga FY profit rises 13% on record cargo volumes

Friday 24th August 2018

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Port of Tauranga, New Zealand's biggest port company, posted a 13 percent rise in annual profit, driven by record cargo volumes, and said it's planning to expand capacity. 

The port company said net profit rose to $94.3 million in the year to June 30 from $83.4 million a year earlier as container volumes lifted 8.9 percent to nearly 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs and overall cargo was up 10.2 percent to almost 24.5 million tonnes. 

"Our expansion programme to accommodate larger vessels, coupled with New Zealand’s buoyant economy, has resulted in the 10.2 percent increase in cargo volumes. Revenue increased 10.9 percent to $283.7 million," chief executive Mark Cairns said in the annual report. 

Volumes lifted across all major cargo categories, with export logs up 14.3 percent in volume and dairy products up 4 percent. 

The port company will pay a final ordinary dividend of 7 cents per share, taking total ordinary dividends to 12.7 cents per share, a 13.4 percent increase on the previous year. The record date is Sept. 21 and the payment date is Oct. 5. It will also pay a further special dividend of 5 cents a share as part of an ongoing plan to return $140 million to shareholders. It is now in the third year of a four-year capital restructure plan. 

Looking ahead, the company expects cargo growth to continue in the next year across most categories, particularly containerised cargo, it said.

It also said it has begun planning for the next stage of capacity expansion as part of its aim to be able to handle up to 3 million TEUs. It has about 40 hectares of undeveloped, port-zoned land available for future expansion. There are options to extend the quay length on both sides of the harbour, using port-owned land south of the existing berths. 

The stock last traded at $4.76 and is down 3.6 percent so far this year. 

(BusinessDesk)

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