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 Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Seadrill: Rig Rates Have Not Bottomed

The market for oil and gas drilling rigs continues to deteriorate as oil companies cut back on investments, Seadrill Chief Financial Officer Rune Magnus Lundetrae

‘Blue Queen’ on First Mission

The platform supply vessel 'Blue Queen', an ULSTEIN PX121 design, was named at Ulstein Verft on Friday 27 February. The ship will be working in the spot market.

Fiji Maritime Academy Bullish on Prospects

The Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) is on the right track to become one of the finest maritime training institutions in the region. It has also achieved an important

Ports

Egypt on a War Footing to Expand Suez Canal

The Suez Canal Authority is in a race to quickly expand the vital waterway for two-way traffic by August 2015, says an Associate Press report. Workers dig round the clock on Suez Canal expansion,

Vancouver Port Fire Leads To Evacuation

A chemical fire at a Vancouver container terminal led to a partial evacuation of Canada’s largest port for several hours Wednesday afternoon, as a cloud of white

Indian Port Workers to Launch Indefinite Strike

Port and dock workers in India are planning to go on an indefinite strike starting March 16th – they are protesting the government’s move to corporatize major ports.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.2559 sec (4 req/sec)