City Forests’ $4.94m half-year profit the best of DCC-controlled enterprises

Contractors at work on a Dunedin City Council-owned City Forests plantation near Dunedin. PHOTO:...
Photo: ODT files.
The Dunedin City Council’s forestry company was a highlight in a balance sheet that appears to be holding up relatively well despite Covid-19 challenges.

The council’s finance committee received half-yearly reports on Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) and its range of council-controlled organisations yesterday.

The council heard that, despite ongoing issues caused by Covid-19, particularly for Dunedin Airport and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), total group revenue was in line with budget.

Revenue was lower than the previous year, but it was not causing ‘‘any great concern’’, DCHL chairman Keith Cooper said.

He said low interest rates continued to have a favourable impact.

The star performer was City Forests, which delivered a profit of $4.94million after tax for the six months ending December 2020.

That was up on the previous year’s profit of $3.976million.

Some other companies were significantly affected by Covid-19.

DVML’s net loss before tax was $273,000, compared with a surplus of $81,000 the year before.

Cr Lee Vandervis noted stadium staffing had dropped significantly due to Covid.

However, he said he had been told unofficially that current staff did not have enough work to do.

Mr Cooper denied that, saying it had been a challenge for staff to keep up with the workload and temporary staff had been brought in when necessary.

Looking ahead, there would be no concerts before the end of the financial year, but there would be domestic rugby.

Post June, there was also a chance Dunedin could be allocated an international rugby test, he said.

Unsurprisingly, Dunedin Airport had also been affected by Covid-19 border closures.

But it still recorded an operating surplus before tax of $1.3million.

That was down on the previous year’s $2.9million.

Aurora Energy continued to focus on its asset renewal programme, recording capital expenditure of $30.856million during the six-month period.

A decision from the Commerce Commission on its customised price-quality path is due on March 31.

A report on the future of Dunedin Railways, which went into hibernation last year, is expected to go to councillors for consideration next month.


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