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

Dryships in the Red

DryShips Inc. and through its majority owned subsidiary, Ocean Rig UDW Inc., of offshore deepwater drilling services, today announced its unaudited financial and

Ulstein Verft Delivers 'Blue Queen’

On 24 February 2015, ‘Blue Queen’ a platform supply vessel of the PX121 design, was delivered to Blue Ship Invest from Ulstein Verft. This vessel is the first

Indonesia Upbeat Ahead of IORA Chair

Indonesia is gearing up to turn its foreign policy focus westward when its role as Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) chair begins later this year, reports Jakarta Post.

Ports

Munkebo Maersk, Biggest Ship Ever to Sail on the Thames

The 18,300 TEU Triple E container ship Munkebo Maersk became the largest ship to ever sail up the River Thames as it called at DP World London Gateway.   The 399 metre long Munkebo Maersk,

Port of LA Container Volumes Down 22.7% in January

Port of Los Angeles container volumes decreased by 22.7 percent in January compared to January 2014 volumes, the port announced today. The port's January 2015 cargo volumes totaled 529,

RoRo Ship Enters Operation for WWL

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics welcomes into operation the M/V Thermopylae, the first of its new generation of Post Panamax HERO (High Efficiency RoRo) PCTC vessels.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.2761 sec (4 req/sec)