A quieter than usual export off-season slightly undermined
South Port's profit during trading for the half-year to
December, but the port company maintains its full-year
financial guidance expectations.
While cargo volumes rose 8% or 101,000 tonnes to 1.36 million
tonnes, lower returns from warehousing saw after-tax profit
down 7.5 %, from $2.9 million a year ago to $2.68 million,
chairman Rex Chapman said yesterday.
''This result was encouraging after the company and the rest
of the freight market in New Zealand encountered a quieter
than normal export off-season in the July to September 2013
quarter,'' Mr Chapman said in a statement yesterday.
The half-year dividend was down from 6.5c last year to 6c,
while shares in South Port were unchanged after the
announcement at $3.50.
The cargo lift was primarily driven by strong fertiliser and
stock food imports and increased export log volumes, but
there were declines in dairy products, imports for the Bluff
aluminium smelter cargo and sawn timber.
Mr Chapman said the second half trading should provide
consistent cargo volumes across most sectors and estimated
full year earnings in a range of $5.8 million to $6 million.
Chief executive Mark O'Connor said South Port was working
with its major shipping line, MSC, in reviewing the port's
container handling infrastructure, which could mean more
capital investment in the future.