Cyclone Gabrielle still affecting Napier Port’s profits

Cyclone Gabrielle still affecting Napier Port’s profits

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Napier port has seen an increase in imports and exports since the 14 November earthquake forced Wellington's port to close.

Photo: Supplied / Napier Port

Napier Port’s full year profit has fallen 19 percent as cargo volumes slowed following Cyclone Gabrielle.

Key numbers for the 12 months ended September compared with a year ago:

  • Net profit $16.6m vs $20.4m
  • Revenue $118.3m vs $114.5m
  • Underlying profit $10.7m vs $18.6m
  • Cargo volume 4.6m kilotonnes vs 5.4m kT
  • Final dividend 3.55 cents per share vs 4.7 cps

The port’s chair, Blair O’Keeffe, said the year started well for the company and the region, as pandemic pressures eased.

However, the cyclone, which hit the region in February, dented the rebound.

“It damaged our customers’ crops, exporters’ premises and regional infrastructure, diluted trade volumes and overshadowed the steady progress we had made,” he said.

A subdued log export market also contributed to the softer cargo volumes, the port said.

Its revenue rose 3.4 percent to a new record due to the return of cruise vessels and improving yield, but it could not offset inflationary cost pressures, the port said.

A post-cyclone insurance claim contributed $7.3 million to earnings.

Its underlying profit, which excluded one-offs, fell 43 percent to $10.7m.

Chief executive, Todd Dawson, said despite the challenges, the port had shown resilience.

“In the face of the significant challenges of the past year, connecting customers to their markets, understanding their needs, and helping them achieve their goals has remained a firm priority for Napier Port.”

The port had achieved that goal, Dawson said.

Optimistic outlook

Napier Port said while inflation pressures, tight monetary conditions and export market uncertainty added to the headwinds, the company was optimistic for the new financial year.

“Just after the close of the fourth quarter, Pan Pac re-opened its wood chip mill, the first part of its production facility to become operational again since the cyclone. It has advised Napier Port that timber mill operations are expected to restart in January, and the pulp mill in February, with the plant fully operational by late calendar year 2024,” Dawson said.

“Several major apple exporters suffered less permanent flood damage to their trees than initially thought and replanting of damaged areas is already underway or complete.”

The port did not provide guidance for the new year.

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