Belfast Harbour has posted record profits for 2013, which means they can commit more than £60m to capital expenditure projects for the future. According to Belfast Harbour’s Annual Report, turnover rose strongly by 30% to £50.3m. Profit before taxation also increased sharply too by 42% to £26.2m.
The very strong performance is a reflection of a record year for tonnages handled, increasing by 16% to 22.7m tonnes. The growth in trade was particularly good in sectors such as Dry Bulk Cargo (up 45%). Growth in trades associated with the new and burgeoning offshore wind farm sector also rose from 3,000 to 200,000 tonnes.
Chairman of Belfast Harbour, Len O’Hagan, said,“ Much of 2013’s growth was secured by investments totalling £100m by the Harbour in three sectors – renewables, dry bulk and freight. The single largest expenditure (£53m) was our development of the UK’s first bespoke logistics and assembly harbour to support offshore renewables.
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 most significant port development project initiated in 2013 was the submission of a planning application to reclaim 60 acres of land from Belfast Lough at the seaward end of the Port to support long-term capacity needs. Other Port development projects initiated include preparatory works on a major new coal handling and storage facility. Belfast Harbour remains committed to supporting the ongoing regeneration of Belfast Harbour Estate.