Container volumes boosted to 84,000 from more dairy and
refrigerated meat and fish exports. Pictured are Port Otago
warehousing operations at Back Beach in Port Chalmers a
month ago. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Port Otago has delivered a strong half-year to December
financial result and $2.5 million interim dividend to the Otago
Regional Council, forecasting expectations of an up-to-20%
boost in full-year before-tax profit.
Port Otago presented its half-year to December result to the
ORC yesterday, with combined port operations and subsidiary
Chalmers Properties rising from $34.1 million a year ago to
$34.7 million, while after-tax profit was down slightly from
$5.03 million to $4.94 million.
While Chalmers Properties is subject to the vagaries of
property reevaluations at the end of the financial year, its
rental income of $6.2 million for the half year repeated last
Port Otago chairman Dave Faulkner said the latest half year
was ''very similar'' to a year ago.
It was largely underpinned by increased container movements,
up 7% to 84,000, from more dairy and refrigerated meat and
fish exports, while there was a 4% decline in conventional
cargo handling to 633,000 tonnes. Log and woodchip volumes
were up, but fuel and fertiliser were down.
The $2.5 million interim dividend to the ORC, repeating last
year's dividend, represented 51% of the half-year after-tax
profit. To date, the ORC has received more than $117 million
in dividends since 1988.
Mr Faulkner estimated the full-year operating profit before
tax could increase from last year's $16.6 million to between
$18 million and $20 million - up within a range of 8.4% to
With the board yet to decide in May on ordering a new $11
million tug in May, Mr Faulkner was asked if the increased
operating profit meant the possibility of a larger dividend
for the ORC.
''That's what the board will have to consider in May,'' Mr
''A tug is a large chunk of money, but that is inevitable
with [handling] larger ships,'' he said.
Mr Faulkner said Chalmers Property had made a ''great
contribution'' to the overall group result, having neither
purchased or sold properties during the six months, but
maintained good occupancy rates in Auckland holdings.
He noted land titles would be available to Chalmers in
September or October for commercial property developments in
Hamilton, enabling them to go on the market for sale.
Capital expenditure for Port Otago during the period was $4.5
million, including a $1.7 million replacement of the
container crane rails on the wharf, a 4000sq m $5 million
warehousing development at Sawyers Bay and a $3 million oil
wharf redevelopment in the upper harbour.