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FIRST CUT: Port of Tauranga lifts 1H profit 4%

Monday 18th February 2019

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Port of Tauranga increased first-half net profit 4 percent, buoyed by ongoing container growth and increased log and fruit volumes.

Net profit rose to $49 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $47.1 million a year earlier.

Port of Tauranga is the country’s largest and also has interests in Northport and PrimePort Timaru. In October, it forecast full-year net profit of $96 million to $101 million, from $93.4 million in the June year. Today it said earnings should come in at the upper end of that range.

The company reported 8.8 percent cargo growth, including containers, in the six months to 13.57 million tonnes.

It handled the equivalent of 621,117 20-foot containers in the six months through December, 5.1 percent more than a year earlier.

Log exports were almost 12 percent higher at 3.67 million tonnes. Kiwifruit volumes were 30 percent higher at 486,000 tonnes. Dairy exports were barely changed at 1.15 million tonnes, while fertiliser imports were marginally lower at 331,000 tonnes.

The full-year earnings the company forecast in October assumed bulk cargoes would get close to 12 million tonnes this year, from about 11.7 million in the June 2018 year. Container traffic was expected to climb to about 1.25 million containers this year, from 1.18 million last year.

Port of Tauranga will pay an interim dividend of 6 cents on March 22, up from 5.7 cents a year earlier.

The shares last traded at $5.23, and have gained 4.2 percent over the past 12 months.

(BusinessDesk)

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