Mersey Docks & Harbor Not Intimidated by Recession

Tuesday, June 05, 2001
The slowdown in the U.S. economy may be weighing on British industrial production, but ports operator Mersey Docks & Harbor Company expects to avoid the dark clouds of recession.

"We have as yet not experienced any impact from the perceived slowdown in the North American market," Chief Executive Peter Jones reportedly said.

The company expected instead to see year-on-year growth in cross-Atlantic traffic. Mersey Docks has about a 25 percent share of the U.S.-UK market in container traffic.

"In the early months of this year we are continuing to see strong growth," Jones said. The two main areas of development would be RoRo traffic and fresh produce, handled at the company's docks in Sheerness, southeastern England.

Jones said the two other main components of the company's revenue, container traffic and grain, were mature sectors, where spectacular growth was unlikely.

One sector analyst agreed: "I think it (the company) is pretty solid, but I wouldn't call it very exciting growth."

Mersey Docks reported pre-tax profit before exceptional items of 52.3 million pounds ($73.7 million) in the year to December 2000 on turnover of 229.9 million.

Two months ahead of delivering its interim results in mid-August, Jones said the company continued to look out for merger and venture opportunities. Mersey Docks last month announced it would be part of a consortium, which will manage Maputo port in Mozambique from 2002. The consortium includes Sweden's Skanska and Portugal's Tertir.

The company is currently concluding a deal with South Africa's Capespan, taking a 50 percent interest in its export terminals.

"The attraction of the South African investment is that it is in fruit handling, a market we know very well," Jones said.

"It is an element of activity which we believe will always be of critical significance in South Africa."

But scant opportunities have arisen on home soil, with few companies having the potential to deliver shareholder value.

"I don't think there are any large scale consolidation opportunities out there at the moment in the UK market," Jones said, though he added the company continued to look out for a suitable firm.

Mersey Docks bought Heysham Port, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Liverpool, earlier this year to consolidate its presence in the Irish Sea. - (Reuters)


Ports

Vitol's Malaysia Terminal Suspends Ops after Spill

VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia following an oil spill, two industry sources said on Friday.

Shenzhen Port to Adopt China ECA Regulation

China's Shenzhen port is set to to adopt requirements for ships at berth requiring to burn marine fuel with sulfur content not exceeding 0.5 percent starting October this year,

Cochin Port Gets a Little 'Breathing Space'

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of India, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for waiver of penal interest on Government

Environmental

C-Job Designs Flettner Freighter for Switijnk

The Dutch shipping company family Switijnk has contracted C-Job Naval Architects to develop a Rotor Sail-equipped design to meet their specific loading and sailing profile.

Vitol's Malaysia Terminal Suspends Ops after Spill

VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia following an oil spill, two industry sources said on Friday.

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
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: 0.0807 sec (12 req/sec)