Port Taranaki’s ability to adapt quickly to changing market demands and service a range of industries has been reflected in a strong year-end result.
For the financial year ended 30 June 2018, Port Taranaki has reported a net profit after tax of $8.26m – up 14.4% on the previous year’s profit of $7.22m.
Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said it was a very pleasing result that was built on careful company-wide planning and governance to create efficiencies, a commitment to being a forward-looking operation, and utilising the wide range of skills, experience and knowledge of Port Taranaki staff.
“We are in a strong position. We are utilising our assets through targeted investment and repurposing, partnering with our customers to find solutions to help their businesses operate efficiently, and providing on-going service excellence and industry-leading health and safety standards,” Mr Roper said.
The total dividend to the Taranaki Regional Council, Port Taranaki’s sole shareholder, is $9.0m for the 2018 financial year. Port Taranaki chairman Peter Dryden said the dividend highlighted the critical role the port continued to play in the economic wellbeing of the region.
“Port Taranaki is an important strategic asset owned by the community and working for the betterment of the community. It is very pleasing to further support our region through this improved result,” Mr Dryden said.
Overall, for the 2017-18 financial year:
- Port Taranaki’s revenue increased 9%, from $41.7m to $45.6m
- Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, Amortisation and Fair Value Adjustments (EBITDAF) were $22.6m, up from $20.0m
- Operating costs increased from $21.6 million to $23.1 million
- The return on shareholders’ funds rose from 5.3% to 5.9%
Total trade increased slightly, with volumes up 1.2% from 5.08m tonnes to 5.14m tonnes, and ship visits increased by 10%.
Leading the way was another record year in the port’s log business, which grew by 42% – from 486,000 JAS to 692,000 JAS.
“There is continued demand from China and there are large numbers of harvest-ready trees coming on-stream. With this growth forecast to continue, we are working to utilise more of our footprint to store logs and looking to expand our reach through the use of rail from the Whanganui area,” Mr Roper said.
Dry bulk volumes rose from 570,000 tonnes to 792,000 tonnes, an increase of almost 39%. This was central to overall import volumes rising 270,000 tonnes to 960,000 tonnes – the highest level in the past five years.
“It was a tough summer for Taranaki farmers, with dry on-farm conditions resulting in greater amounts of supplementary feed coming through the port to support the region’s stock,” Mr Roper said.
While logs and dry bulk were up, bulk liquids volumes fell slightly from 3.98m tonnes to 3.63m tonnes. This was expected, with the industry undertaking planned shutdowns and turnarounds.
“Methanol volumes were down significantly in the second half of the year as Methanex, which is our largest customer, carried out planned maintenance. With Methanex and other bulk liquids customers back operating at full capacity, we expect volumes to recover in 2018-19,” Mr Roper said.
“We have been delighted with the announcement from Methanex that it has committed to Taranaki through the signing of long-term gas contracts out to 2029.
“We have also been buoyed by the confirmed offshore oil and gas exploration programmes planned in the coming summer and will be on-hand to service and support this work.”
Mr Dryden said that with trade levels forecast to be higher over the next three years, off the back of expected increased log exports and the return to full production of oil and gas customers, the business outlook was positive.
“Growth prospects will continue to be explored, investment in our assets will be ongoing, and we will invest in our vessel and landside planning to further gain efficiencies, therefore improving the profitability of our customers,” he said.
- Port Taranaki completed the refurbishment of the former Chevron terminal for lessee BP. The terminal is now fully operational and enables larger parcels of diesel and petrol to be shipped in and distributed throughout the region.
- Port Taranaki began work to repurpose the Craig Norgate Store to accommodate the company’s growing animal feed trade.
- Port Taranaki began work to expand its log business by repurposing on-site land to store logs and working alongside KiwiRail to develop a logs-on-rail service from the Whanganui region.
- Port Taranaki welcomed new tug Kīnaki to its fleet. This major investment will have long-term benefits for Port Taranaki and its customers by providing a modern vessel with greater power and manoeuvrability to service the larger ships that now visit.