Tuesday 07 July 2009
The Port of Cork Company has reported an increase in turnover for the year 2008 of 5.5% to €26.3 million. Cost of sales amounted to €14.5 million, Administration expenses to €6.6 million and an Exceptional item of €1.37 million, leaving a profit on ordinary activity before taxation of €4.1 million and profit after taxation of €3.3 million.
Total traffic reached 10.1 million tonnes, a reduction of 5% on the record 2007 figures of 10.6 million tonnes, which was the highest annual throughput in the history of the Port Company. This reduction is a direct result of the slowdown of the Irish economy in the second half of 2008.
Oil traffic decreased by 4.4% to 5.8 million tonnes and accounted for 57.6% of cargo handled through the Port of Cork, the bulk of which is processed through the Conoco Philips’ Whitegate Oil Refinery. Non-oil traffic accounted for 4.28 million tonnes in 2008, a decrease of 179,185 tonnes or 4.56% when compared with the same period in 2007. Cargoes such as cereals, coal, bulk fertilizer and animal feed showed marginal increases.
Despite container traffic reducing by 6.97% to 187,000 TEUS, the Port of Cork is still the second busiest port in Ireland in terms of number of containers handled. Trade car imports decreased dramatically by 53,000 units or 31.44% on the 2007 traffic level.
The number of cruise liner calls to the Port of Cork in 2008 was a record 51, bringing over 70,000 passenger and crew to the region. This sector has experienced year on year growth and contributes in excess of €44 million per annum to the region.
Moving forward the key challenge for the Company is to maintain efficiency and capacity for flexibility and responsiveness to change in the very challenging current Irish and global economic climate.
Commenting on the challenges faced by the Port of Cork, Chief Executive Brendan Keating said; ‘The focus of the Company remains on our existing customers while proactively seeking out new business opportunities and controlling our costs.’
He continued; ‘The Company remained committed to capital investment with €6.5 million invested in 2008, highlighting our dedication to customers in delivering first class port facilities in response to their needs.’
Planning for new port infrastructure to provide new port facilities for future trade development is high on the Port of Cork’s agenda. The refusal by An Bord Pleanála for a new container terminal and multipurpose Roll-on Roll-off berth at Oysterbank was a major disappointment and setback for the company. The decision to refuse the proposal was all the more disappointing having been accepted as being of strategic importance to the Irish Economy and therefore dealt with under special legislation, The Planning and Development Act 2006.
Since the refusal, the Port of Cork Company has completed a thorough review of all aspects of both the application and the final decision by An Bord Pleanála.
Chief Executive, Mr. Brendan Keating said; ‘Following the review of the planning decision, the Port is also currently undertaking a review of the strategic plan and is committed to re-examination and consultation on potential suitable sites within Cork Harbour and we aim to have this completed by early 2010. It is the strong belief of the Port of Cork Company that the development of new Port infrastructure capacity is essential for economic enhancement of Cork City and region and for the competitiveness of the Irish Economy, enabling it to realize its economic potential and facilitate growth and trade.’
In 2009 the Port of Cork was awarded the ISO 14001 Certification, demonstrating the Port’s ongoing commitment to Environmental Practice in sustaining a quality environment in Cork Harbour, particularly in areas which have the potential to be affected or influenced by Port Operations.