Ports of Auckland profit surges

Last updated 08:25 21/08/2014

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Ports of Auckland says improved productivity and volumes are behind the large increase in its annual profit.

Figures released last night show net profit after tax for the year to June 30 of $74 million, up 90 per cent on the previous year's $38.9m profit.

"We had an outstanding year" chief executive Tony Gibson said. "Container volumes recovered and the volume of non-containerised freight increased to record levels."

"Productivity has been increasing since restructuring started in 2011 and has hit new highs this year.''

The Auckland Council owned Port declared a $66.6m dividend, up 126 per cent on the previous year's $29.5m

It said container volumes rose 18.3 per cent to 968,741, while non-containerised volume rose 26 per cent from last year to 5.679m tonnes.

"While the past year has been good, the year ahead will be challenging. The growth in container volumes was a one off as we recovered from a low base and we will also lose volume after Maersk moved a major service away from Auckland,'' Gibson said.

Capital investments for the coming year, aimed a lifting productivity and capacity, would include a new tug, straddles and crane, a longer container wharf and a new truck grid, he said.

"The future is reasonably positive for Auckland's port. Auckland is growing and so is its freight demand. At the same time, competition in the port sector is growing and pressure from shipping companies on pricing is becoming more intense as that industry itself undergoes significant change,'' Gibson said.

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