South Port buying crane

South Port is spending $6.3 million to buy a second mobile Liebherr container crane in anticipation of increasing dairying and fertiliser movements.

Listed South Port said that following a recent infrastructure review in conjunction with its major container shipping line customer MSC, a second Liebherr crane and an additional heavy-lift container forklift would be bought for $6.3 million in total.

South Port chief executive Mark O'Connor said a two-crane infrastructure levy would be passed by South Port to its shipping line customers in a transitional period over several years.

He said there would not be a noticeable, immediate lift in cargo to support the investment, so a mechanism was necessary to partially bridge the gap between the targeted investment return and the income flows.

For its half-year to December, reported last month, a quieter than usual export off-season slightly undermined South Port's profit, but the port company maintains its full-year financial guidance expectations, forecasting full-year earnings in a range of $5.8 million to $6 million.

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.

-simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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