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Ports of Auckland delivers $54m to council

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/08/2016 By Fiona Rotherham
© Bloomberg

Auckland Council will receive a $54.3 million dividend from Ports of Auckland after the city's port operator announced a lift in full-year profit despite even as revenue fell with container volumes.

The payout, up $12.6m on the previous year, equates to $103 per Auckland household or 4.4 per cent of the average annual residential rates bill and takes total dividends in the past five years to $212m.

Chief executive Tony Gibson said the dividend was unlikely to be that high in 2017 with another challenging year ahead.

The Auckland Council-owned port company reported net profit of $84m for the year ended June 30, up from $63m a year earlier. Property revaluations delivered a $12.2m gain, primarily due to improvements at its Wiri freight hub.

Gibson said the 2016 financial year proved as tough as anticipated, with revenue declining 3 per cent to $211 million. Contributing factors included a 5.5 per cent decline in bulk volumes and significantly lower ironsand exports due to reduced iron and steel prices.

This was partially offset by increased cement throughput, thanks to Auckland's booming construction sector. Growth in new and used vehicle sales nationwide saw a 1.7 per cent rise in imports of cars and other 'high and heavy vehicles' such as farm vehicles and machinery.

The port is likely to build a multi-storey carpark to stack imported cars within the next two years to create room on Bledisloe Wharf.

"We have to provide a better-looking port. That's been made clear to me," Gibson said.

Globally, container throughput is expected to be flat in the 2017 financial year and the port expects its volumes will be flat or fall again, Ports of Auckland said.

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