Port result beats expectations
Port Nelson Ltd has reported a net profit after tax of $7.1 million, and will be splitting a $3.2m dividend between the Nelson and Tasman councils over the next two weeks, chairman Nick Patterson says.
The councils each own half of the port company, and the dividend is paid 50-50. They have already shared $1m in an interim payment this year, with the $3.2m making up the balance and maintaining the dividend policy.
The company held its annual general meeting yesterday, and Mr Patterson said he reported a positive result.
The port had kept its expenses within budgeted levels despite operating in a challenging environment, he said.
"It's been a good, solid, strong result, better than we may have anticipated at the beginning of the year."
The high value of the New Zealand dollar against the Japanese yen and overseas markets continued to be challenging, he said.
"However, it is worth noting that after taking into account the five-yearly revaluation of our assets this year, total non-current tangible assets now sit at $190.5m compared with $104m in 2004.
"In the same period, the total amount paid back to our shareholders by way of annual dividends, special dividends and a $25m share buyback in 2007 has amounted to more than $79m.
"At an average of just under $8m a year over that 10-year period, that is a further clear indicator of the value that this business delivers to its shareholders and the residents of our region."
Cargo volumes were in line with budgeted expectations, with logs and fuel very close to 2011-12 levels. Apple exports were up on the previous year, continuing the positive trend from the 2012 season.
Wine volumes also continued to increase both generally and in terms of volumes handled by PNL's Quaypack operation.
Mr Patterson said he was pleased that the port had retained visits from existing container vessels and had welcomed its first cruise ship visit for several years.
"We are approaching the current year with a sense of cautious optimism based on a solid performance in 2012-13."
He said highlights of the annual report were:
❏ Revenue up at $39.6m ($38.8m in 2011-12).
❏ Earnings before interest and tax of $12.1m ($1m ahead of budget).
❏ Overall net profit after tax of $7.1m.
❏ Current non-tangible assets of $190.5m.
❏ Total cargo of 2.6 million tonnes, in line with budgeted expectations and down very slightly on the previous year.
❏ Apple exports up on 2011-12.
❏ The container total of 83,380 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) was slightly down on 2011-12's record, but this was expected.
There were continuing challenges around the hubbing of cargo and maintaining international ship calls, he said. "But I think we're well positioned at the moment and well serviced with international calls, and luckily our cargo mix helps. With our big chunks of perishable cargoes, it's quite attractive for shipping lines to call."
- © Fairfax NZ News