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POT cooks up great recipe for shareholders

Friday 22nd August 2003

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Port of Tauranga has consistently delivered the goods for its shareholders during the past 10 years and should turn in another strong result next week.

Sharebroker ABN Amro predicts a record profit of about $28.3 million, up from $25.9 million last year.

The shares have been on an upward trend since 1998, peaking at $4.65 in January before dipping slightly to around $4.40, largely because of the Sars scare.

The company, last week judged best port in Australasia, has consolidated some bold expansion beyond its Bay of Plenty base to have good exposure to maturing forests and strong cargo volumes.

The 2001 acquisition of cargo handling and storage company Owens Services is starting to bear fruit with operations at 11 ports around the country and a 50:50 joint venture at Marsden Point's Northport is also performing well.

Port of Tauranga is the country's principal log port, servicing the forestry estates of the central North Island. It moves about 350,000 TEU (20 foot equivalent) containers a year and has the lowest container handling charges of all its main competitors.

The company pioneered inland ports in New Zealand when it launched Metroport in Auckland three years ago. Since then its TEU traffic has more than doubled.

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