South Port has reported a 7.7 percent drop in first-half net profit to $2.6 million for the six months ended December, compared with $2.9 million for the same period last year.
The Bluff port attributes most of the fall to faster throughput of products before the start of its new financial year, affecting its warehouse activity and cargo flows.
The company says there was more rapid movement of dairy, fish and meat product into the market during the previous season, which created low inventory levels at the start of the port's financial year.
Chief executive Mark O'Connor says the first three months of the financial year started slowly, particularly in the containerised area.
"But that was consistent across the whole New Zealand market," he says. "In the three-month period leading up to Christmas of 2013, cargo certainly started to ramp up."