Port of Tauranga benefits from Auckland strike

Last updated 05:00 22/02/2013

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Port of Tauranga shares closed up just 4 cents at $13.85 despite a record first-half profit.

Higher container volumes and export volumes helped lift the port's net profit to a hefty $74.2 million, more than double its $34.5m profit in the previous six months till December.

However, the company said that was inflated by a $35m net gain after the sale of its stake in stevedoring firm C3 Ltd.

It highlighted instead its underlying profit of $39.2m, which was up 13 per cent.

A $34m purchase of forestry marshalling company Quality Marshalling would appear in the full-year accounts.

The port's guidance for after-tax earnings was unchanged at $75m to $79m.

Chief executive Mark Cairns said the company's mid-year result was due in large part to a 25 per cent lift in container traffic and a 16 per cent lift in export volumes.

Dairy exports, which made up about 10 per cent of its export trade, jumped 87 per cent, largely from Fonterra contracts.

Fonterra moved its business away from Ports of Auckland during a strike last year, and Cairns said most business that came its way from the strike had stayed with Tauranga.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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