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Interim result sees CentrePort increase profits over 50%

CentrePort Limited has ended the first half of the new financial year in a strong position. The Wellington port company has indicated an unaudited underlying profit of $6.7m for the first half of FY24, an increase of more than 50% on the same period for the last financial year. It has also increased revenue by 10.5% to $51.1m

CentrePort Board Chair Lachie Johnstone says this performance, which is ahead of expectations, is pleasing.

“It’s a good position for CentrePort to be in, demonstrating our continued focus on efficiency, asset utilisation, safety and having a customer-centric approach is paying off,” Johnstone says.

Key highlights for the six months ended 31 December 2023 include:

– Group Underlying Net Profit After Tax: $6.7m, up 56% from $4.3m

– Revenue: $51.1m, up 10.5%from $46.2m

– Interim dividend – $3.5m, $0.5m higher than the prior year

CentrePort Chief Executive Anthony Delaney was equally pleased with the result, but urged caution for the remainder of 2024.

“We are aware of the domestic and international pressures that we, and others, will face. This means there’s no room for complacency in how we conduct ourselves and how we look for solutions for our customers.”

He said CentrePort was clear on what it needed to do to manage or mitigate the expected headwinds.

“We’ve been through many recent challenges. Our approach continues to be to focus on what we can control – reducing waste, focusing on creating more efficiency, and ensuring we maintain the level of service we are applauded for by our customers.”

Cargo volumes are currently stable, which is good given the market outlook, but flat compared to the same period in the last financial year. This is something that the port sector is conscious of, particularly given the slowdown in the domestic and global economy and global trade disruptions through the Red Sea and Panama Canal.

Cook Strait ferry services

Johnstone says CentrePort will continue to work with the Government, new Ministerial Advisory Group, Cook Strait Ferry operators and other key stakeholders, as appropriate, to consider a way forward for Cook Strait ferry services following the cancellation of the iReX project.

Environment and projects

CentrePort is continuing to be recognised locally and internationally by its customers for leading the way in New Zealand to lower its emissions and Scope 3 supply chain related emissions.

A new fuel bunker barge has arrived and is in service providing conventional fuels initially. It’s expected the barge will enable alternative fuels to be supplied to shipping lines.

The project to establish a MicroGrid on the port. In particular, plans are on track for solar arrays to be installed at the port for onsite electricity generation. They are due to be installed mid-2024.

CentrePort is also proactively installing underground services infrastructure, where possible, to enable our long-term energy journey.

There’s continued good progress on the Seaview Wharf Renewal project, which will protect critical assets integral to the fuel supply for Wellingtonians and the rest of the lower North Island.

The work to date has significantly increased the resilience of the main wharf.

The port’s Ground Resilience project, reinstating and repairing the perimeter of the port affected by the Marlborough Earthquakes has also been completed with the last stone column installed in late December last year.

“This is a significant milestone from our regeneration programme and is noteworthy because the work was finished not only on time, but ahead of the budget set in 2017.”

Outlook

The remainder of 2024 is not expected to be easy for the port sector due to ongoing domestic and international economic pressures. In addition, insurance premiums are predicted to continue to increase, affecting insurance affordability.

Johnstone says the port is ready to adapt to the changing circumstances and continue to provide solutions to current and future customers.

“We will maintain a ‘can do’ attitude to solving problems and focus on consistent, quality operations. Fortunately, we have a stable and capable team that can support us to do that.”

 

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