14 Aug 2022

Shannon Foynes Port company profits exceed €5m for the first time

Shannon Foynes Port company profits exceed €5m for the first time

Annual profits at the Shannon Foynes Port Company have exceeded €5m for the first time | PICTURE: Don Moloney

THE SHANNON Foynes Port Company has revealed its annual profit has topped €5.2m for the first time.

The semi-state firm, which is responsible for the management of Limerick’s commercial ports and harbours, also achieved record earnings last year, with tonnage through its ports up by 16%, its annual report has revealed.

The company’s turnover increased by 23.8% to €16m in 2021, up from €12.9m during 2020, a year largely lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shannon Foynes Port Company has reported that tonnages were particularly strong in the agriculture and construction sectors, with the export of cement and related imports growing strongly.

Overall, its cargo terminals at Limerick and Foynes performed strongly, with year-on-year throughput increases of 9.9%, manifesting in these terminals now operating at historically high levels.

Foynes Port chief executive Pat Keating said: "Notwithstanding the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, we remain confident that there are significant opportunities to grow and expand the Port at the operating level. With an expanded business development function, we have identified targeted areas that will drive revenue growth over the short, medium and long term.”

He added that since 2011 – the base year of the port company’s Vision 2041 masterplan, tonnage at its general cargo terminals rose by 60%, even accounting for the downturn during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This performance, he said, is also reflected in the company’s balance sheet, with net assets increasing by 281% to €54m since 2010 and with annual net operating cashflow increasing by over 170% over the same period.

Mr Keating said that due to the increased tonnage throughputs projected in Vision 2041, the ongoing roll-out of the company’s investment programme is continuing at pace.

Construction has commenced on a €33m programme, including the building of some 117 metres of quay to join the east and west jetties at Foynes.

On top of this, there is infilling for associated quay set down together with the development of a 38-hectare site at Foynes as a port business park.

These represent the largest capital projects ever undertaken by the company and are scheduled to complete in 2023.

Mr Keating said that the company will have a significant part to play in assisting the country’s transition to a low carbon economy due to its role as an international offshore renewable energy hub.

“Our medium-term capital investment programme has been reviewed to ensure that the port will have the necessary capacity for the medium term to accommodate this transition, particularly with regard to offshore renewables and deep water berth capacity,” he said.

Port company chairman David McGarry said: “The year not only recorded great financial success but also notable progress on several fronts with regards to our strategic plan. With the port company making strides internally, it also remains one of the foremost economic drivers for the Mid-West.”

Mr McGarry added the board had made significant progress on realising the objectives of its 2021–2025 strategic plan.

To this end, it’s now updated its objectives with the drafting of a 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, which has been delivered to the Department of Transport and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with the report expected to be approved soon.

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