Foyle Port announces record turnover despite Brexit uncertainty

Foyle Port recorded a record turnover of £10m during 2018/19
Foyle Port recorded a record turnover of £10m during 2018/19 Foyle Port recorded a record turnover of £10m during 2018/19

FOYLE Port has announced a record £10 million in turnover despite the uncertainty posed by Brexit.

The Derry harbour recorded an operating profit of £1.9m during 2018/19, marking its seventh year of consecutive growth.

The record turnover followed the port’s handling of record levels of animal feed and fertiliser.

It means that all three of the north’s ports have reported growth in the past year.

In June, Warrenpoint Port said its turnover rose by 5.5 per cent to £6.1m during 2018.

The north’s biggest port, Belfast Harbour, saw an 11 per cent rise in revenue to £68.8m last year, while operating profits increased by 6 per cent to £36m.

All three harbours have embarked on significant investment programmes.

Presenting its annual report yesterday, Foyle Port said it had undertaken capital investment in assets and infrastructure to the tune of £3.5m.

It includes the purchase of a new harbour crane and expansion of the port’s land bank to 155 acres.

The Derry harbour, which now employs 107 people, has also continued with a diversification programme, namely with its civil and structural engineering division, Foyle Consulting Engineers.

Foyle Port chair Bonnie Anley said the harbour authority directly and indirectly supports 1,000 jobs in the region and contributes £1 billionn worth of commodities annually.

“This is a milestone anniversary year for the port and we are thrilled to see our turnover and operating profit grow once again,” she said.

“Over the last year in particular, there has been ever increasing anxiety about Brexit and its impacts. Potential change and uncertainty, both locally and nationally has had to be managed.”

“We’ve risen to that challenge and are ready for the outcome of Brexit in terms of a ‘deal’ or a ‘no deal’ scenario.

“As a commercial entity we have shown that we can be flexible and adapt to the new realities of the business environment. We continue to invest and innovate so that we are ready to grasp all new opportunities arising in the future.”

Chief executive of Foyle Port, Brian McGrath added: “The successful performance of Foyle Port this year is due to the dedication and collective focus of our entire work force and the support of our customers.”

“We are delivering on our ambitious strategy at a time of considerable uncertainty.

“The ongoing Brexit debate and devolved political uncertainties continue to be part of our strategic thinking in the short to medium term as we enter a new era in the aftermath of a divisive Brexit experience.

“We have a strong balance sheet and are primed for future investment. We are one year ahead of delivery in terms of our strategic plan, which will give us much need time before setting the direction of travel for 2020 and the outcomes of Brexit.”