Port Of Waterford Records Decrease In Operating Profits; New Service Connection From Port Of Cork To Belgian Port Zeebrugge Announced
Port of Waterford has recorded a decrease in operating profits.
Port of Waterford stated on its website, "Port of Waterford has today (August 3rd, 2021) announced details of its trading activity for 2020 and for the first half of 2021."
"The financial statements for 2020 have recently been laid before the Oireachtas. The company is reporting operating profits for the financial year of €0.7 million, down from the €1.2 million recorded in 2019 during a period of trading set against the pandemic."
The statement continued, "The port’s turnover was €7.2m for the year a reduction of 8% against 2019 and shareholder’s funds ended the year at €33m.
"Bulk throughput in 2020 came in at 1.5 million tonnes, a 3% decrease on 2019, while the levels of container shipment handled grew by 2%.
"For the first half of 2021, the business is showing very positive momentum despite the continued challenges posed by the pandemic in the ability to drive car park and cruise income. Bulk handling is currently ahead of 2020 by over 20% at this year’s halfway point and container handling is also holding up well and in-line with 2020 levels."
Citing the impact of the pandemic on two key areas of business for the port, chief executive Frank Ronan said in a statement published on Port of Waterford’s website, "The absence of parking income, all COVID-related, and to a lesser extent the cessation of all Cruise business, again COVID-related, were the main drivers of the reduction in performance experienced during 2020."
Ronan remained optimistic, stating, "Despite this, overall performance has remained profitable and crucially, our team has kept the show on the road and played their part in keeping supply chains open, which has been key over the eighteen months."
Discussing the current levels of business for the company, Ronan continued, "The first six months of this year have gone reasonably well. We are still missing car park and cruise revenue, but overall, we are satisfied with the levels of business performance. The Port is in a strong cash position and we see plenty of positives in the market. The under-utilisation of the container terminal capacity remains both our main challenge and a major opportunity. The imminent return of rail freight services at the end of the month is eagerly awaited."
Ronan concluded by noting the strong interest being expressed by Cruise Companies in visiting Waterford Harbour during 2022 and 2023, stating, "We look forward to working closely with the local Cruise Co-operative and Dunmore East Fishery Harbour to deliver more business for our region’s tourism and hospitality operators. This potential upswing is particularly welcome following on from what has been a really difficult time for this sector."
New Port Of Cork Ro-Ro Service Connection
In other Irish port news, a new roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) service connection from Port of Cork to Belgian port Zeebrugge has been announced.
As reported by The Irish Examiner, the service has been introduced by the Grimaldi Group as part of its service between Cork and Antwerp, the group will now include Zeebrugge on that run.
It is reportedly now operating two departures a week from that port and one from Antwerp to Cork and vice versa.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.