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Centreport continues to build regeneration momentum

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

CentrePort’s regeneration continued to gain momentum while it provided essential services through the COVID crisis in what has been a challenging 2019/20 financial year.

CentrePort recorded an underlying net profit after tax (NPAT), before earthquake impacts, changes in fair value, and realisation of financial instruments of $14.7m. Total comprehensive income net of tax was $157m.

This compares to a NPAT of $17.6m in FY19. A dividend of $5m was paid to shareholders compared to $4m last year.

Chairman Lachie Johnston said a major highlight of the year was the finalisation in October of the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake claims.

"It’s a watershed moment for CentrePort. Finalising the insurance claims ($667.2m net of deductibles) has provided surety to progress our regeneration. It allows us to move from planning to implementation.

"The planning to deliver a 21st century logistics supply chain asset designed with the assistance of international and New Zealand experts, was adopted by the Board and relayed to shareholders.

"Our regeneration approach is based on the pillars of customer, community, our people, and the environment. These guide the strategic framework for the various projects underway or in planning. CentrePort is in a sound position to continue that momentum, " Mr Johnstone said.

Major initiatives progressed during the year included:

Expansion and upgrading of the Waingawa log hub, significantly increasing capacity.

Commencement of the enhanced rail onto port project to increase capacity/throughput.

Continuation of the enhancement of the port entrance.

Realignment of the log and container yards.

Investment in electric cargo movement equipment and infrastructure. Ongoing resilience works on major assets including Thorndon Container Wharf and the Seaview fuel facility. Removal of the former BNZ building with 95 percent of materials by weight recycled.

CEO Derek Nind said enhancing health and safety remained the primary focus of operations.

"We saw continued growth in ownership of health safety by our people. Through good systems and practice we were well placed to tackle health and safety challenges, including COVID-19.

"Operationally it was a difficult year. In addition to ongoing constraints as regeneration works continued, there were the impacts of the pandemic. However, our people showed great resilience and I’m proud the way the Port ensured the continuation of essential services for customers and the community.

"The log trade was the most significantly affected by the COVID alert level constraints. After a period of sustained growth for several years, volumes were down 11 percent. With logging not classed as an essential service under Level 4 lockdown, a month’s volume was effectively lost. COVID-related consequences also impacted on petroleum and vehicle volumes.

"Overall container volumes held relatively steady, but the pandemic contributed to curbing growth. A boost for the future was the start of the ANZEX shipping service to North Asian ports in June, complementing the other three existing shipping services.

"While CentrePort achieved a new record number of cruise ship visits, the season was curtailed by the pandemic. The ongoing ban on foreign cruise visits to New Zealand Port has created high uncertainty around this trade for the coming year and we are forecasting zero visits.

"Good progress on environmental sustainability was made, including the $15m investment partnership with New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF). CentrePort was proud to be chosen as NZGIF’s first investment partner and the facility will help the introduction of electric container movement vehicles which is part of our carbon reduction strategy.

"The Waste Management Programme which has operated since 2017 was expanded to process waste demolition materials from external organisations including the Wellington City Council. Sixty five thousand tonnes of concrete has been recycled under the programme.

"The global pandemic presents ongoing challenges and uncertainty. Despite this, CentrePort is well placed to continue its regeneration and continue to deliver service and value to the central New Zealand economy," Mr Nind said.

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