Port bosses upbeat as profits sink £250k
PROFITS at Londonderry Port sunk by a quarter-of-a-million pounds last year, the Sentinel can reveal.
According to the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners’ latest accounts retained profits plummeted from £702,219 in 2011 to just £427,742 in 2012.
The dip in profits at the local harbour, which provides a livelihood for 1000 people and generates wages of £30m a year, was blamed by the Commissioners on the lingering economic downturn.
“Against the ongoing backdrop of a world recession I am delighted to report that the Port enjoyed yet another highly successful year’s profitability,” stated Port Chairman Garvan O’Doherty. “This has consolidated our position as one of the most significant players in the economy of the North West.”
But Mr O’Doherty acknowledged the challenges posed by the difficult economic trading conditions.
He continued: “Significant challenges still exist for the Port. The continued economic recession provides a difficult trading environment for our customers and consequently for the Port.
“No business has been immune from the effects of the economic downturn globally. It would be fair to say that the world recession has lasted longer and has gone deeper than anyone imagined at the outset in 2007.”
Chief Executive Brian McGrath stated: “Our turnover for the year was £5.35m with profit before interest and taxation of £680,000.
“In light of the prevailing economic climate our result represents a very strong performance within the UK and Ireland’s port sector.
“The strong performance on our operations has delivered a range of diversification which has allowed us to continue to post strong results during a time of recession.
“According to an independent report undertaken for the Commissioners by FPM and Oxford Economics the value of commodities handled through the Port has an annual value of c£1.4billion.
“Businesses based around the Port employ over 1,000 people generating wages of over £30m per annum. We also facilitate the import of 23 per cent of coal and 34 per cent of oil imports into Northern Ireland reducing the need to use road transport into the region and significantly reducing overall our carbon emissions.”
Despite this cautious optimism turnover at the Lisahally harbour also dipped from £6,429,779 to £5,357,595 over the year.
And profit before tax was down a whopping £500k; from £1,056,005 in 2011 to £581,867 in 2012.
The report also reveals that total trade in cargo fell from a gross tonnage of 1,814,251 in 2011 to 1,665,962 during the last financial year.
And whilst cargo imports fell from 1,732,079 tonnes to 1,515,926, exports were up from 82,172 tonnes to 140,036.
There was also a reduction in the gross tonnage of both domestic and foreign vessels at the port.
Home trade was down from 307,536 tonnes to 266,616 tonnes; and foreign trade was down from 1,483,931 tonnes to 1,188,559 tonnes.
The disappointing figures are in marked contrast to record trading results reported back in 2008 before the economic downturn had reached its nadir when Mr McGrath could herald a £1.2million profit.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Londonderry
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West