Trade down nine per cent at Foyle Port amid 'severe challenge' of pandemic and Brexit

The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a nine per cent fall in trade at Foyle Port in 2020/21.
The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a nine per cent fall in trade at Foyle Port in 2020/21.

BOSSES at Foyle Port said “severe challenges” posed by the Covid-19 contributed to a nine per cent drop in trade in the first year of the pandemic.

The Derry trust port said its performance for the year ending March 31 2021 had remained “resilient” despite its turnover and profit taking a hit.

Trade slipped to 1.7 million tonnes over the 12 months, with turnover down 11 per cent to £9.2m.

Pre-tax profits fell 20 per cent over the year to £1.3m.

Foyle Port’s bosses said despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the post-Brexit landscape, it still managed to reinvest £1m in fixed assets in the last financial year.

The deep water facility's annual report said the employment of its 108 staff had generated £4.3m in wages over the year, with 80 per cent of its electricity now coming from low carbon fuel sources.

Over the last year, the port said it reduced its CO2 emissions by 76 tonnes, with plans to invest in more electric vehicles.

Foyle Port chair Bonnie Anley said: “Today’s financial results illustrate the scale of the challenge that the Covid-19 pandemic and grappling with the post-Brexit trading environment have posed to Foyle Port. Despite these challenges, however, the port’s financial performance has remained impressively resilient.

“During this tough year, the port played its role, as a key worker designated service, facilitating the vital trade flows into and out of the north west region.

“As this year progressed, commissioners successfully ensured that our core business remained fully operational whilst, at the same time, continuity plans were quickly implemented as required.”

The port’s chief executive, Brian McGrath, said: “While this has been a challenging year for the Port, we are proud of our collective resilience and strength, and I want to thank every member of staff and the executive team for their personal contributions.

“I particularly appreciate the unwavering support from the chair of the board and the commissioners during this time of crisis.”