Amid the pre-election politics, Ports of Auckland has released its annual result. According to the Port, profits, revenue, volumes and customer satisfaction are up, while dividends are down.
Container volumes increased 5 per cent to 952,331 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Car and light commercial vehicle volumes lifted a substantial 19.9 per cent to 297,383 units. Breakbulk and bulk volumes (which includes cars and light commercials) were up 11.4 per cent to 6.46 million tonnes.
Ports of Auckland.
Reported net profit after tax was $60.3 million, in line with the Port’s expectations. That profit includes the cost of investments made in sustainability, a review their business model, cyber security, innovation and automation.
Last year’s net profit after tax of $84 million included a $17.6 million gain for an asset impairment reversal.
The Port declared a dividend of $51.3 million, compared to $54.3 million for the previous year, down about 5 per cent.
Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson noted the issue of cars on the wharf.
“We looked at importing cars via another port, but an independent report from Enviro-Mark showed that Ports of Auckland is the most environmentally sustainable for car imports. Transport costs are also significantly lower through Auckland. So we are working with industry and stakeholders on ways to increase capacity, speed up processing time and reduce the visual impact of cars down town. We will share the results of this work later this year.”
Gibson said overall that he was pleased with the result.
“Our trading profit and dividend are down slightly, reflecting the investments we are making to prepare for the future. This year work started on our Waikato freight hub, we finished our third container berth and our automation project is well underway.”
“For the second year running, we were voted Best Seaport in Oceania by our customers and industry peers in the region.”
The Port says there has been further consolidation in the container industry as a result of mergers and acquisitions and they now have fewer, but larger container line customers.
The Port has also noted a container terminal automation project that is underway, on track for completion in 2019, that will increase capacity from 900,000 TEUs a year to around 1.6-1.7 million TEUs.
“Automation brings significant productivity and sustainability benefits, but it also impacts some of the traditional roles in our industry. We believe that a business like ours which is adopting new technologies has a responsibility to help staff and their families adapt,” said Gibson.