Five-year best for Tauranga Port

Damian Foster.
Damian Foster.
Port of Tauranga reported a 13% increase in profit for the six months ended December representing the company's best result in five years, Forsyth Barr broker Damian Foster said yesterday.

The reported profit was $63million, up from $55.8million in the previous corresponding period.

Sales revenue also lifted 13% to $141.4million from $125.3million, as did the operating profit of $77.1million from $68.2million in the pcp.

Mr Foster said the result was driven by strong cargo growth but again highlighted a lack of operating leverage - margin expansion - in the key port operations.

Cargo growth of 13% was driven by containers (up 15.8%), export logs (12.5%) and grain and feed supplement imports (34.7%).

''This is a good result from Port of Tauranga as all key cargo segments grew strongly in the period and well above trend.''

While containers would continue to grow in the medium term, the long-term outlook for exports, in light of central North Island harvest volumes, was flat, he said.

Management had increased its after-tax profit guidance range for the full year to $92million to $96million, compared with current market consensus expectations of $89.5million, implying that upgrades were likely.

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