Napier Port has shaken aside the effects of Covid-related disruptions and fewer ship visits to post a record full year profit.
Key numbers for the year ended September versus a year ago
- Net profit $23.2 million versus $22m
- Revenue $109.5m vs $100.4m
- Cargo volumes up 16.3 percent
- Outlook - 10 percent growth in underlying earnings
- Full year dividend 7.5 cents per share vs 5 cents per share
Cargo volumes hit a record with more container traffic handled despite a fall in the number of ships calling, while bulk cargo was driven by record volumes of logs. There were no cruise ship visits.
Chief executive Todd Dawson said the result was pleasing given the disruptions to supply chains from shipping schedules and the backlog of containers.
"Our success in attracting cargo from outside Hawke's Bay has been a factor in driving increased volumes, with cargo owners valuing our ability to meet and secure their supply chain requirements with access to global markets and a port operation that continues to provide efficient, reliable, and resilient services."
Although the port had 51 fewer container ship visits, that was largely offset by an increase of 39 charter vessel visits for bulk trade cargoes. The lack of cruise ship visits cost the company an estimated $4m-$5m in lost revenue.
Dawson said he did not see much easing in the disruptions for at least another year.
"Significantly, we hosted all these vessels while operating with reduced space on port due to the construction of 6 Wharf."
The 350m new wharf is set to expand the amount of cargo that can be handled and allow bigger vessels to call.
The port now expected the wharf to be completed and in operation midway through next year, several months ahead of schedule and also as much as 5 percent under budget at a cost of between $173m-$179m.
Dawson said the port was benefiting from inland cargo hubs, particularly one near Palmerston North with direct rail and road links to the port, which were attracting new customers and cargoes.
He said if current market conditions continued the company was expecting a 10 percent lift in underlying earnings for the coming year.
The port company has adopted a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy for all staff, and Dawson said to date only one staff member out of more than 300 staff had refused.
Meanwhile, the port has also rewarded staff below senior management level with a bonus of $2779 consisting of cash and shares.