4 Jul 2014

South Port lifts profit forecast

7:33 am on 4 July 2014

South Port, New Zealand's southern-most commercial port, expects its annual profit will be higher than previously signalled due to stronger-than-expected cargo flows.

The Bluff port expects net profit for the year ended June will be similar to the previous year's $6.5 million result, up from its guidance in February that net profit would come in between $5.8 and $6 million.

Chief executive Mark O'Connor explained why the result would be better than that.

"The bulk cargos, in particular, showed some robustness in that last part of our financial year, the April through to June period, where we saw some solid flows of stock food and also fertiliser," Mr O'Connor said.

"The log activity also managed to hang on right through into June, despite the market softening up in China."

Mr O'Connor put that down to the agricultural sector having a strong performance period, and those stock food and fertiliser components were a key part of that activity.

The log activity was a reflection of the tail end of the strong demand from the Chinese market, which was now taking a "pause", he said.