13 Mar 2014

South Port earnings forecast up to $6m

8:20 am on 13 March 2014

South Port is forecasting its full year earnings should be in the range of $5.8 million to $6 million.

The Bluff port's net profit fell to $2.6 million for the six months ended December, a 7.7 percent drop from the $2.9 million for the same period last year.

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.

South Port chief executive Mark O'Connor says while the rapid throughflow will offset an expected uplift in bulk cargoes of fertiliser, logs and stock food, the port is still upbeat about the outlook.

He says the port remains confident it will achieve its forecast target, although it's slightly back on the record result from the previous financial year.

Mr O'Connor says product is not staying in the warehouses for any length of time, which affects the port's margins although it's good for its customers.

He says a sizeable part of South Port's business relates to warehousing, both cold and dry warehousing.