Port of Tauranga expansion pays off

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The Port of Tauranga. PHOTO/FILE
The Port of Tauranga. PHOTO/FILE

Port of Tauranga today reports an improved financial result for the year to June 30, 2014 and a strong outlook following a successful year extending its freight catchment across the country.

Group EBITDa increased 5.5 per cent to $142.5 million from $135.0 million as an increase in bulk cargo transported across the Company's wharves offset a temporary decline in container volumes.

Total cargo volumes rose 3.5 per cent to more than 19.7m tonnes from 19.1m tonnes a year earlier.

Reported Net Profit After Tax fell 30.2 per cent to $78.3m from $112.1m a year earlier as the prior year included a $34.9m one off gain from the sale of an associate company.

Port of Tauranga Chairman, David Pilkington said the 2014 financial year represented a watershed for Port of Tauranga.

Port of Tauranga this year took a 50 per cent stake in PrimePort Timaru and took control of its container terminal, began the development of a new freight hub in Christchurch and struck an alliance with freight management and logistics provider Kotahi, which would deliver up to 1.8m export TEUs to the port over the next ten years.

"These strategic initiatives, combined with the significant investments we have made in prior years, have put in place a platform for long term growth and will deliver significant gains for importers and exporters across the country," he said.

"Reflecting our confidence in the Port's prospects, and our certainty over forecast container volumes following the Kotahi alliance, the Board has today declared a final dividend of 29 cents per share, lifting the full-year, fully-imputed dividend to 50 cents per share, representing an 8.7 per cent increase over the prior year's 46 cents per share," Mr Pilkington said.

The record date for entitlements to the dividend is 19 September 2014 and the payment date is October 3, 2014.

Mr Pilkington also announced changes to the board.

"Sir Dryden Spring has indicated his intention to retire at the Annual Meeting in October after 10 years on the Board. Sir Dryden has been a significant contributor around the Board table and his experience and wise counsel will be missed.

"Our new independent director, Alastair Lawrence, was appointed in February in anticipation of thismove. His knowledge of mergers and acquisitions has been particularly welcome in the past year.

"As well as strong growth in the dairy sector, we see significant potential in other primary produce sectors including forestry. We believe our diverse cargoes and income streams ensure the Port of Tauranga Group will continue to achieve steady growth, as we consolidate our position as the country's largest port."

Highlights:
- Underlying Group Net Profit After Tax reaches new record, rising 1.3 per cent to $78.3 million
- Group EBITDa up 5.5 per cent to $142.5m
- Total trade volume increases 3.5 per cent to more than 19.7m tonnes
- Purchase of 50 per cent of PrimePort Timaru and execution of a 35 year lease to operate Timaru
Container Terminal
- Purchase of 15 hectare inland port site at Rolleston
- Establishment of long term alliance with freight management and logistics provider Kotahi
- Final dividend of 29 cents per share, increasing full year dividend 8.7 per cent to 50 cents per share

- Bay of Plenty Times

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