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Port of Tauranga has solid opening quarter

Friday 24th October 2003

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The Port of Tauranga's profit for the first quarter of the current financial year was a solid 7.5% ahead of that earned in the previous first quarter, the company's Chief Executive Jon Mayson told today's annual meeting in Tauranga.

He said that the good earnings for the quarter reflected a continuation of the trading volumes evident in the last full year.

"The slower trading conditions we were anticipating during the opening months of the year didn't eventuate and we continued to reap the benefits of our productivity improvements, diversification and growth in container traffic."

However, Mayson said that a slowing of trade volumes, particularly in the area of forestry, was starting to emerge in the current month.

"We appear to be entering what will be a more challenging environment for the business and your management team."

To that end, we are constantly looking to alternative sources of revenue and alternative partnerships to secure our future position.

Among these was the joint venture, MetroBox, with Tranz Rail which was announced on October 2.

This 50/50 arrangement would build on the 10-year extension of the METROPORT operating agreement which the company had signed with Tranz Rail in May. MetroBox operates the container storage and repair business formerly known as Auckland Box.

Mayson said this investment was another step in the strategic process of diversifying the business and it built on the concept of using rail links to provide an environmentally acceptable, seamless and cost-efficient point-to-point service for customers.

He said that in the coming year the company would:

  • Continue to invest in its core infrastructure. The Port takes delivery of two new straddle carriers at the container terminal in February and in December the fourth Liebherr Post-Panamax crane would be operating at Sulphur Point.

  • Progress its multi-port strategy, including the further development at Northport.

  • Seek other management opportunities.

  • Continue to be customer-focused, while maintaining its operational efficiency and controlling costs.

  • Continue to seek other opportunities for trade diversification, whether through attracting new shipping lines or product throughput by new export customers - or increased volume from its existing client base.

  • Continue to focus on enhancing the company's asset values.

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