Posted on Tuesday 3 June 2014 by Ulster Business
Belfast Harbour had a busy 2013, handling nearly 23m tonnes.
A buoyant performance by the agrifood and wind sectors helped Belfast Harbour post a bumper performance last year.
It recorded pretax profits of £26.2m for 2013, a 42% ramp up on the previous year, handling 22.7m tonnes.
The harbour said a 45% boost to dry bulk cargo - most of which is handled by grain importer W&R Barnett and destined for animal feed - was behind much of the solid performance in addition to a sharp increase in trade associated with the renewable energy sector.
Tonnages handled related to the latter climbed to 200,000 from just 3,000 in 2012 and mostly involve work carried out through the offshore wind energy terminal built by the harbour last year and leased to DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables.
Freight was another strong performer for the harbour, particularly for roll-on/roll-off business which climbed 8% on the year.
Len O'Hagan, Belfast Harbour's Chairman, said the profits will be reinvested in infrastructure.
"Record levels of profit have enabled the Harbour to commit £60m towards further projects to benefit the local economy. This is necessary to accommodate a projected 68% increase in trade over the next 15 years and ensure that Belfast Harbour remains forward looking as the island's most modern gateway to overseas markets."
The harbour said it has committed over £60m on expenditure projects and also revealed it paid £6.6m in tax for 2013.