Ports of Auckland today released its results for the 2016/17 financial year.
Reported net profit after tax was $60.3 million, and includes the cost of investments made in sustainability, a review of the port’s business model, cyber security, innovation and automation. Last year’s net profit after tax of $84 million included a $17.6 million gain for an asset impairment reversal. There was a declared dividend of $51.3 million, compared with $54.3 million for the previous year.
Chief executive Tony Gibson said volumes were up across the board, with container volumes increasing 5%, car and light commercial 19.9%, and break bulk and bulk volumes up 11.4%. Revenue increased by $11.3 million, but trading profit and dividend were down slightly, reflecting investments the port was making to prepare for the future.
“This year work started on our Waikato freight hub, we finished our third container berth, and our automation project is well underway.”
Gibson said the year had not been without challenges, with Auckland's construction boom and growth driving significant increases in freight volumes, notably vehicles and building materials.
“Cement volumes are up almost 50% in two years and cars are up almost 20% in just one year. As a consequence we are experiencing capacity constraints on our general wharves, with some ships having to wait at anchor or at berth to unload.”
Gibson said the port’s container terminal automation project is well underway and on track for completion in 2019.
“Innovation and automation will increase our container terminal capacity from 900,000 TEUs a year to around 1.6 to 1.7 million TEUs. We estimate that on our existing land area we can handle up to 3 million TEUs, catering for an Auckland population of 5 million people.”
As a result of mergers and acquisitions like the port acquiring Netlogix’s 50% shareholding of Nexus Logistics and its subsidiary CONLINXX, Gibson said they now had fewer but larger container line customers and an industry that is still looking to ports to help lower costs.
“This year we have recast our strategy to reflect our vision to become the most sustainable port in New Zealand. We will be more transparent and more engaged with the community, provide leadership on environmental issues, and help drive Auckland’s economy in a sustainable way. We have set some ambitious goals, including being a zero emission port and have started to make practical steps towards this goal.”