Andrew Moffatt, CEO at Port of Tyne
Ellen Forster

Member Article

Port of Tyne sees pre-tax profit double as it continues to invest in infrastructure

The Port of Tyne has seen pre-tax profit almost double to over £10.2m, not far off the record performance reported in 2012.

The port saw turnover, whilst still almost at the record level of the previous year, dip very slightly by 3% - at £71.5m.

The Port has continued to expand its infrastructure, with over £11m in 2014 invested in new plant and machinery and initial expenditure on the £25m project to extend the Port’s main Riverside Quay by 125 metres to nearly 1 kilometre.

This will further increase the Port’s capacity, and capability, to handle the ever-growing size of cargo ships.

The Port with 570 employees continued its rolling programme of 23 apprenticeships – a level equating to 5% of the workforce at any time.

Overall cargo volumes handled on the River Tyne at 6.7 million tonnes, were the highest for over 25 years, since 1989.

96% of all cargoes were handled at Port of Tyne berths. The previous record was in 2013 when 8.1 million tonnes of cargoes were handled, the largest volume since 1965.

The year on year reduction in volumes is mainly due to a fall in the amount of imported coal.

The Port of Tyne handled over 5m tonnes of conventional and bulk cargo in 2014, accounting for 75% of the volumes handled in total.

Coal volumes dropped from 4.9m tonnes to 2.7m tonnes in 2014 and whilst the volume of wood pellet almost doubled to 1.9m tonnes, this increase was not enough to offset the reduction in coal volumes.

The balance was made up of cargoes of scrap metal, steel and grain, which added 0.4m tonnes, similar to the levels seen in 2013.

Andrew Moffat, the Port of Tyne’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Port has shown a strong performance in the past 12 months both in terms of volumes and financial results.

“EBITDA, our earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, was over £17m, almost equalling our record performance recorded in 2012.

“Overall the reduction in coal volumes is due to reduced demand from the Port’s power-generating customers. Factors influencing this include the prevailing market circumstances, weather conditions, and lower prices associated with alternative fuel sources such as gas and oil. In addition, the planned conversion of coal-fired power stations to wood pellet has not happened as quickly as originally anticipated.

“I am particularly pleased that the regional economic impact of the Port of Tyne, in terms of Gross Value Added, grew by 10% to over £560m - and the number of jobs in the wider community supported by the Port also increased, to over 11,200.”

Record numbers of passengers were reported travelling on the daily Newcastle – Amsterdam route with 572k using the Port’s award-winning International Passenger Terminal.

The logistics business area, providing container terminal, warehousing and distribution services generated £18m pounds in turnover, the same as in 2013.

Moffat continued: “We will now build on our successes of 2014 and focus for the future on the continued support of our existing customers, growing our existing revenue streams, and continued diversification, especially in the offshore and renewable energy sector,”

“We have opportunity and also challenges ahead,” said Moffat. “Considerable investment in our marine and land side infrastructure is required to expand our infrastructure and capacity, both to meet existing customers’ requirements and to diversify and attract new ones. We have made a start with the major extension to Riverside Quay and we intend to work very hard in the coming years to ensure we can invest to the level needed to continue to bring further growth, jobs and economic success to the Port and the region.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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