Ports of Auckland holds first-half dividend unchanged as profit falls
Ports of Auckland will pay its owner, Auckland Council, an unchanged first-half dividend even as profit fell and debt rose.
Net profit fell to $29.3 million in the six months ended December from $31.6 million a year earlier. Sales rose 4% to $110.5 million while expenses rose 3.2% to $73.6 million.
Container volumes rose 4% to 493,665 in the first half. Multi-cargo volumes rose 8.8% to 3.26 million tonnes, which the company reflected higher volumes of imported cars and construction materials.
Cruise ship visits fell by three to 28. Car volumes rose 17.6% to 145,883 units.
Ports of Auckland will pay a first-half dividend of $25.3 million, from $25.9 million a year earlier, which will help the council "fund vital infrastructure projects and manage the cost of Auckland rates," chief executive Tony Gibson says.
Debt rose to $266.6 million from $218 million a year earlier.
The port company is owned via the council's Auckland Council Investments and dividends in the 2016 financial year of $54.3 million were the equivalent of 4.4% of the average Auckland residential rates bill, or $104 per household.
In an update of operations, the port says it was continuing to roll out its North Island freight hubs with construction underway in the Waikato and the first freight handling facilities expected to be in service by late this year or early next year. It is continuing to make progress on a strategic alliance with Napier Port.
Ports of Auckland says it has set a target of being carbon neutral by 2025 and having zero emissions by 2040.