Record breaking year at the port

The port is breaking cargo, shipping and performance records. Spot the container ship hidden in this photo. Photo: Supplied

The Port of Tauranga is confirmed as New Zealand's largest, fastest growing, and most productive port in the annual result presented to the New Zealand Stock Exchange on Friday.

Container volumes increased by 13.8 per cent during the year to a record of nearly 1 million 20ft equivalent units. The largest cargo ships in the country, with container capacities of between 7,500 and 11,500TEU are now calling weekly.

Highlights of the annual result presented on Friday to the New Zealand Stock Exchange are:

  •          Annual container volumes exceed one million TEUs - a first for a New Zealand port
  •          Total trade increases 10.3 per cent to a record 22.2 million tonnes
  •          Net Profit After Tax for the year to 30 June 2017 rises 7.9 per cent to $83.4 million
  •          Annual revenue rises 4.2 per cent to $255.9 million
  •          Port of Tauranga becomes the only New Zealand port to be “big ship capable”
  •          Exports increased 8.0 per cent to 14.2 million tonnes, while imports grew 13.7 per cent to 8.0 million tonnes
  •          A final ordinary dividend of 6.2 cents per share brings the total ordinary dividend to 11.2 cents per share - a 5.7 per cent increase on the previous year. In addition, a special dividend of 5 cents per share will be paid, bringing the total dividends for the year to 16.2 cents per share.

Dividends, coupled with the Company's strong share price appreciation, have lifted total returns to shareholders to 18.7 per cent over the year. They extend the record of the Company delivering a compound annual average return to shareholders of 18.3 per cent over the last decade.

Annual revenue rose 4.2 per cent to $255.9 million, up from $245.5 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 6.4 per cent from $143.2 million last year to $152.4 million this year.

Port land was revalued during the year increasing by $63 million reflecting the increase in land values over the last two years.

The results are a satisfying culmination to the Company's $350 million expansion programme, says Port of Tauranga Chair, David Pilkington.

“It's been a monumental year. The successful completion of our dredging project in September was a turning point, as bigger vessels were able to call in New Zealand for the first time.

“As soon as the dredging was finished, larger vessels were introduced on Tauranga-only port calls.”

Vessels with nominal capacities of between 7,500 and 11,500 TEU now regularly call on a weekly basis, compared to a pre-dredging maximum of 4,500 TEU ships.

“These large vessels are providing New Zealand importers and exporters with very fast, direct and economic services to North Asia and beyond. As Port of Tauranga is the only Australasian port of call on these services, it is an efficient trans-shipping option for Australian exporters,” says David.

Chief executive officer Mark Cairns says the port's working speed compares favourably with Australasian ports.

The “net crane rate” for the year increased to 36.2 moves per hour, and the ship rate increased to 89.1 moves per hour – well ahead of New Zealand peers. The average ship rate is also 59 per cent ahead of the average of five of Australia's largest container terminals.

Over the past two years, the number of trains running between Tauranga and the inland port MetroPort Auckland has increased from 54 to 78 per week, with the number of containers transferred by rail increasing 64 per cent.

“We are currently working with KiwiRail to further increase the frequency of trains to cater for expected growth,” says Mark.

In the South Island, the Timaru Container Terminal handled 84,946 TEUs – more than four times the volumes in the 2014 financial year, when Port of Tauranga took over operations.

The port still has capacity to handle increasing volume, with considerable scope to expand within the Port's current footprint, Says Mark. There are approximately 40 hectares of undeveloped, portzoned land available for future expansion.

Read the full report on the Port of Tauranga website.


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