Business

Foyle Port reports strongest financial results in 162-year history

Foyle Port has reported its strongest financial performance in 162 years of operation
Gareth McKeown

FOYLE Port has announced a record-breaking 50 per cent rise in profits as part of the company's "strongest financial performance" in its 162-year history.

The Derry port reported its fifth year of consecutive growth at its Annual General Meeting, with record operating profit of £2.2million generated from a turnover of £8.6 million for the 2016/2017 period.

As documented previously the port re-invests all its profits to improve the business and upgrade facilities and last year capital investment totalled £3.6 million. This included state of the art tug boat to safeguard the future shipping operations in Lough Foyle. To date over £30million has been re-invested as part of the long-term capital expenditure programme.

Staff numbers have also grown over the year at the port by 20 per cent to 92, bringing the annual wage bill up to £3.2 million.

Foyle Port chair, Bonnie Anley, highlighted the success of a company, which has doubled its turnover in the past 10 years.

"The past year has been significant for the port as it was the strongest financial performance in our 162-year history," she said.

“Our sustained growth has driven more than £100m of inward investment into the north-west region and our successful diversification of the business means that we are on course for further growth in the years to come. External uncertainties prevail, but our strategy has proven robust with a 25 per cent operating margin achieved in 2016/17 demonstrating how well the wider port is performing.”

Foyle Port chief executive, Brian McGrath said the port continues to play a significant part in the business life in the north-west city region and on both sides of the border.

"Not only have the numbers of employees increased by 20 per cent at the port, we sustain over 1,000 more jobs in the area," he said.

“As a wider economic zone, our work at the port transcends politics and borders. With Brexit coming down the track, we are committed to delivering our commercial and statutory duties whatever happens. We will simply have to deal with the consequences of the future arrangements of the customs union, single market and the common travel area. Uncertainty erodes business confidence and deters investment, but we will face up to the new realities.”

Mr McGrath further outlined future plans to develop a new cruise ship terminal at the port, stating the project "continues to gain strong support" and has "massive tourism potential".

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