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Profit soars on Northport log volumes, property gain

BUSINESSDESK: Northland Port Corp, which owns a half stake in the region's Marsden Pt port operator Northport, posts a 61% gain in full-year profit on a surge in log exports and a one-time revaluation gain on its property portfolio.

Net profit rose to $7.6 million, or 18.47 cents a share, in the 12 months ended June 30, from $4.7 million, or 11.45 cents, a year earlier, the Whangarei-based company says. Sales rose to $8.2 million from $6.69 million.

Most of the profit came from its 50% share of the surplus from Northport, which rose to $6 million from $4.96 million. Northland Port also recognised a $1.5 million revaluation gain on its property assets surrounding the port.

Log exports through Northport gained 25% to 1.96 million tonnes, lifting overall volumes through the port to 2.7 million tonnes.

Chairman Colin Mitten saysfurther growth in volumes is expected in the 2013 financial year, when they are forecast to reach 2.9 million tonnes.

The company will pay a final dividend of 5 cents a share, up from 4 cents a year earlier, bringing annual payments to 8.5 cents from 6.5 cents.

Shares of Northland Port last traded at $1.90 and have gained 27% this year.

Ports of Auckland owns 19.9% of Northland Port Corp and rival Port of Tauranga has a holding in Northport.