Increased volumes a boost for Napier Port

Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012

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Increased volumes of forestry products, meat and dairy being exported from Napier helped the country's fourth largest container port increase its profits this year.

Napier Port processed 3.71 million tonnes in the year to September and had 204,065 twenty foot equivalent sized containers, up 8.5 per cent from last year.

Net profit after tax rose 2 per cent in the year ending September, to $11.08 million. Revenue rose 11 per cent to $60.3m, with tonnage and container levels rising to new records.

Much of the container port's growth was down to moving more livestock from the upper North Island to be processed locally, strong volumes of dairy and apples going through and more timber and woodchip material.

It moved almost 1 million tonnes of logs and significant amounts of pulp, sawn timber and woodchips.

There were 16 fewer vessels handled, at 554. Chief executive Garth Cowie stated in the annual report that shipping remained relatively stable during the year despite a number of changes in services.

"Auckland's industrial issues resulted in Napier handling three additional vessels during our peak period."

During the year it completed a fairway dredging project so it could take vessels of 12m draft, with further inner harbour dredging to take place this year to get it capable of 12.5m drafts in high water.

"Strategically this will enable Napier to maintain its position in shipping rotations relative to other New Zealand ports by allowing larger, deeper draft vessels to arrive and depart," Cowie said.

Expenses included a $919,000 write-off after it demolished a 40-year-old storage shed, which it will replace.

The company, a subsidiary of Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company, paid dividends of $5.85m during the year.

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