The Port of Waterford Company has today (Thurs, April 13, 2017) announced details of its trading results for 2016 together with an update on current activity.
Results 2016 1.4m tonnes of goods were handled through the Port in 2016, very much in line with 2013 and 2014 but somewhat back on the 2015 numbers. Bulk tonnages handled were down, driven by agri market and weather conditions while on the container side activity grew by 7% year-on-year.
The Company reported profits for the financial year of €886,000, up from €569,000 in 2015. Turnover was €6.3m and shareholder’s funds ended the year at €31m.
Frank Ronan, Chief Executive, commented: “This has been another solid year of progress for Port of Waterford. The business is profitable, we are debt-free, we have made some good investments and we have a clear strategy to expand and build on our contribution to the economic development of the southeast region. There has been significant positive progress on our legacy defined benefit pension deficit and we are excited about the potential for development on the North Quays in Waterford. Overall, Port of Waterford is very well positioned for the future.”
Mr Ronan noted that “Bulk throughput at Belview is showing an extraordinary 40% increase for the first quarter of 2017 and while container handling has started the year a little sluggishly, this is being offset by record levels of project cargo - in the main wind turbines - being handled through the Port. There has also been a resumption of live cattle exports, very much a traditional feature at Waterford but one that has been missing for some time.”
The Port has recently appointed ABPmer as its lead modelling company to assist with studies on the estuary. ABPmer have extensive experience of working with ports to develop and manage marine projects while protecting the marine environment. Capt Darren Doyle, Harbourmaster, confirmed that “the Port’s master planning process continues with some environmental surveys on the estuary currently being undertaken. These include studies of the currents and wave systems from Hook Head to the rivers Nore, Suir and Barrow. Additionally, surveys of the topography of the estuary are being undertaken using a range of techniques. This information will result in a comprehensive database of information to facilitate hydrodynamic modelling on a range of potential marine development projects.”
Key members of the local estuary community, who have experience on the water, have been consulted for their local knowledge to inform the overall understanding of the environment. Capt Doyle confirmed that the Port will continue to consult with stakeholders throughout the process.