Despite tough trading conditions, Port Taranaki Ltd will pay an increased dividend of $2.24 million to its shareholder, the Taranaki Regional Council. This dividend payment is an increase of 10% on that paid for the equivalent period last year.
Port Taranaki Ltd posted a net profit after tax of $4.5m for the six months to December 2015, the third highest in the past twelve years and on a par with the 2013 result.
Chairman John Auld said, "This result reflects the challenges currently facing the Taranaki economy, particularly the dairy and oil and gas industries. There is an on-going commitment from Port Taranaki Ltd to efficiently service the needs of our customers and the Taranaki business community as we come off two years of high commodity prices and related activity."
Port Taranaki announced late last year its investment in a tank farm at Centennial Drive, New Plymouth, in conjunction with BP Oil NZ Ltd who will lease and operate the site. This initiative will transfer the delivery of motor spirits into the region from road to coastal vessels through the port to supply the Taranaki region.
The past six months has seen a more normal level of underlying trade. Total trade of 2.52m freight tonnes is 1.8% ahead of the comparative period for the 2013 year whilst down 16.6% on the 2014 year - which was an exceptional period.
A key feature of this year’s result has been the growth rate in the past two years in bulk cargo and log trades. Chief Executive Guy Roper said, “Dry bulk cargoes of animal feed and fertilizer were 38% higher when compared to 2013 and bulk liquids were 4.2% higher, reflecting increased production from within the Taranaki region.
The export returns for logs was more favourable in the 2015 year with growth of 2.8% when compared to 2013.”
Chief Executive Guy Roper said another key feature has been the investment in the Shoretension™ mooring system. “This new world class and market leading system is designed to safely moor vessels in all swell conditions and it has proven to be very successful. An investment in four more units, for use at the Newton King tanker terminal, will be operational before the end of the financial year. This will complete the service reliability customers are demanding. It is a significant step forward for us as it has the potential to avoid expenditure of up to $20 million on breakwater extensions” he said.
The results for the six months ended 31 December 2015 follow are pictured above.