Mersey Reports Profits, Eyes British Port Consolidation

Friday, August 20, 1999
Mersey Docks and Harbour Co. has reported an increase in profits of nearly eight percent in the first half, its shares following suit with a similar rise. Representatives of Mersey, which owns the Port of Liverpool and the ports of Sheerness and Chatham in southeast England, said the company’s investment program was reaping rewards as it managed to push up profits despite flat volumes of cargo. The program was buoyed by achieving record volumes in two key market sectors — containers and Irish Sea roll-on roll-off freight — which gave it a better overall mix of cargo, officials added. This helped compensate for the loss of nearly a million tons of business due to the ban made effective Jan. 1 on the dumping of river sludge out at sea. In Liverpool, the demise of sludge depressed the port’s total throughput to 13.7 million tons from 15 million. Mersey, which suffered a damaging dockers’ strike in 1997, also reported good business for its property arm, using waste land near Liverpool city center for hotels and flats. Chief Executive Trevor Furlong said the buoyant business at its ports was an indicator Britain’s economy was on the up. Furlong went on to say that if fewer companies were running Britain’s ports, Mersey would be in a good position to expand. “The UK ports industry needs consolidation, whether that is in two years’, three years’ or five years’ time, but consolidation has got to take place,” he said. “If the right port came up at the right time at the right price we could be there,” he added. “Our gearing at the half year is only 35-36 percent so we have a very strong balance sheet.” Liverpool is the company’s heart, but with its ownership of Sheerness and Chatham, it is the UK’s second operator behind Associated British Ports. Most of Britain’s 100 or so ports are run by much smaller companies — some owned privately, some by the local authorities and some by trusts, like Dover and the country’s biggest port Sullom Voe which serves North Sea oil rigs. The previous Conservative government encouraged these ports to go private, with proceeds shared by the state and the port, but the Labor government has let things cool, Furlong said.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Shipping Industry Flying On The Dragon’s Back

As the many Greek players in the shipping industry know well, the legend of Icarus tells us the dangers of flying too high. Merchant vessel earnings eventually

Subsea 7 Profits Dip in Q1

Subsea 7 S.A. announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, reporting revenues of $746 million, down 37 percent from the prior year period.

Sembcorp Profit Halved as Clients Defer Projects

Revenue falls 30 pct; order book at S$9.7 billion. Singapore rig-builder Sembcorp Marine's quarterly profit halved as customers deferred projects, and it faces

Ports

Singapore’s Mega Terminal Construction Kicks Off

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has started the construction of a new container terminal at the western end of the island to replace existing

Blacklisted Tanker Returns to Libya's Zawiya Port

A tanker that Libya's rival eastern government had been using to try to export oil in defiance of the Western-backed administration in Tripoli returned to the country on Saturday,

Lerwick Harbor sees Seasonal Boost

The opening of the offshore season in northern waters has seen specialist oil industry vessels return to Lerwick Harbor during April to support subsea development projects.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0560 sec (18 req/sec)