Posted on Tuesday 3 July 2018 by John Mulgrew

 

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Belfast Harbour has unveiled record results, including a 5.6% surge in operating profits to £34m.

Turnover in the year to December 31, 2017 was up 6.5% to £61.9m.

Work is currently under way on a new 900-space car park, while next year’s results are likely to see a further uplift in revenue, due to the new AC Hotel and films studios on the North Foreshore.

Overall, Belfast Harbour saw turnover rising by 6.5% to £61.9m during 2017. The growth in turnover and profits was supported by a 3% increase in port cargo handled to a record 23.7 million tonnes.

During the year it invested £42m in new port facilities and regeneration developments, while it says future “capital expenditure plans include an upgrade of the port’s ferry and container handling facilities at a cost of £60m, and further investments in new logistics warehousing units.”.

Overall, port operations make up around 80% of overall turnover at Belfast Harbour.

“A key factor in the success of Belfast Harbour is the ongoing growth in port throughput in sectors such as aggregates, steel, animal feeds and grains, roll-on/roll-off freight, ferry passengers and cruise ship visits,” Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour’s chief executive said.

“The Harbour’s real estate activities also are delivering ongoing growth. As trade in traditional sectors such as coal and refined oil reduce, we will continue to explore new trade opportunities, alongside those in real estate and tradeable services.

“Our ongoing partnerships with Titanic Quarter and Catalyst Inc. also continue to yield positive results.”

And Belfast Harbour’s chairman, David Dobbin, said:

“Belfast Harbour is a key economic driver for our region. Our ‘trust port’ status allows us to reinvest all of our earnings after tax for the benefit of port users and the wider economy.

“This ongoing investment cycle has been key to our financial success and has allowed us to support the growth in trade and passenger/visitor numbers, and the creation of quality new jobs across our estate.

“We estimate that our current investment programme will generate over 10,000 jobs. Over 2,000 jobs have already been delivered in the City Quays offices and hotel developments, and the Harbour Film Studios.”

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