26 Feb 2009

Tauranga port lifts half-year profit

7:45 am on 26 February 2009

Port of Tauranga is confident it can maintain its profit and dividend payout, despite uncertainty about future global demand.

The port lifted its profit to $22.5 million for the six months to the end of December, up 10% on the same period the previous year, as it moved more cargo through its wharves.

Revenue rose 2% to $74 million as increased exports of logs and wood products, meat and imports of coal, fuel and palm kernels, offset lower dairy exports.

Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns says the company also managed to reduced spending by $4 million, particularly in fuel and rail costs.

Mr Cairns says demand tailed off at the end of last year, however he is cautiously optimistic the port can make a similar annual profit to last year's $42 million due to but log sales to China and low debt levels.