Ports of Auckland 1H profit falls 17 percent as container volumes drop

Ports of Auckland, whose operations have been disrupted by a drawn-out industrial dispute that scared off customers, posted a 17 percent decline in first-half profit on reduced container volumes and an absence of year-earlier one-time gains.

Profit fell to $15.5 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $18.6 million a year earlier, the city-owned port company said in a statement. Revenue from port operations fell 5.8 percent to $90.1 million.

Container volumes fell 8.9 percent to 413,884 twenty-foot equivalent units, it said. Full import containers fell 5.4 percent and export containers declined 9.2 percent.

Breakbulk cargo volumes, including cars, rose 6.5 percent to 2.02 million tonnes. Vehicle volumes rose 1 percent.

Auckland lost business to Port of Tauranga because of the strike as shipping company Maersk diverted some services and Fonterra opted to move all of its upper North Island export dairy products through the Tauranga port.

Port of Tauranga yesterday posted record first-half earnings and recorded a jump in volumes of dairy products and meat.

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