22 May 2024

Napier Port posts solid lift in half-year profit

10:16 am on 22 May 2024

Napier Port. Photo:

Napier Port has posted a solid lift in half-year profit on improved revenue and a cyclone insurance payout.

Key numbers for the six months ended March compared with a year ago:

Net profit $14.3m vs $8.7m

Underlying profit $11.1m vs $7.5m

Revenue $70.6m vs $64.1m

Forecast full year underlying profit $50m-53m

Interim dividend 3.0 cps vs 1.7 cps

The country's fourth largest port had a strong rebound from the previous year when its business was badly affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Chief executive Todd Dawson said the result was positive and reflected its diversified cargo make up, with a downturn in container traffic and imports being offset by increased log exports and cruise ship visits.

"The recovery of trade volumes, together with effective cost control and yield management, is working well for us alongside the investments in infrastructure we have made and additional customer services we are providing."

Container volumes were down 17 percent, reflecting the after effects of the cyclone and weaker economy, but increased towards the end of the half-year as exports of meat and fruit picked up.

Bulk cargo revenue was up by more than a quarter on increased log exports, while cruise ship revenue rose 74 percent on more visits.

The port kept the increase in operating costs down to about 2 percent.

The bottom line was boosted by a cyclone-related insurance payout of $7.2 million, although the change to building depreciation rules cost it $2m in added tax.

Dawson said business was expected to return to more normal patterns in the second half, particularly in log and forest product exports, but cruise ship books for the next season were higher.

"While we expect ongoing inflationary cost pressures, uncertain economic activity, and export log market conditions to remain challenging, we look forward to the continuing ramp up of cargo volumes post Cyclone Gabrielle and continued earnings growth momentum."

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