Port of Tauranga profit rises on record cargo volumes

In June, the port company marked its first year of container volumes exceeding 1 million TEUs.

Port of Tauranga posted a 7.9 percent gain in annual profit, driven by record volumes of cargo, and announced the next instalment of its capital return saying it expects further growth in volumes and earnings this year.

Profit rose to $83.4 million in the 12 months ended June 30 from $77.3 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 4.2 percent to $256 million.

In June, the port company marked its first year of container volumes exceeding 1 million TEUs and today confirmed it handled a record 1.08 million containers, up about 14 percent from 2016 levels. Total trade rose 10 percent to a record 22.2 million tonnes, driven by an 8 percent gain in exports to 14.1 million tonnes and a 14 percent gain in imports to 8 million tonnes. Port of Tauranga has dredged its harbour channels to accommodate the next generation of bigger ships.

"It's been a monumental year. The successful completion of our dredging project in September was a turning point, as bigger vessels were introduced on Tauranga-only port calls," said chairman David Pilkington.

The company will pay a special dividend of 5 cents a share in the second payment under a plan to return up to $140 million to shareholders over four years. It also declared an ordinary final dividend of 6.2 cents, making 11.2 cents for the year, up 5.7 percent. The dividends will be paid on Oct. 6 with a record date of Sept. 22.

Port of Tauranga shares last traded at $4.46 and have gained 16 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)