The Port of Rotterdam Authority has announced its financial results for 2014. It reported that its revenue rose by 3.1% over 2013’s result to €659.8m. This growth was due to increased economic activity at the port. However, profits fell by 4.9% to €215m. The completion of phase 1 of Maasvlakte 2 brought the level of investment down to €189m, a level that is still higher than before construction started on the new port area.
Port of Rotterdam’s Financial Director, Paul Smits said, “We are not surprised by the fall in profit. The massive investments of the past few years have caused our long-term debt to rise to €1.3bn, which also means a rise in our interest charges. In addition, the early repayment of a long-term debt of €45m involved the payment of additional interest charges. Also, the commissioning of Maasvlakte 2 led to a rise in depreciation of €7m. At the same time, the rise in our revenues was limited, resulting in lower profit.”
The Port Authority’s two key sources of income are the leasing of the land and the seaport duties payable by ships docking at the port. Revenue from the lease of land rose by 5% year-on-year to €337.5m. This rise was caused by the release of a number of new sites, the charging on to individual customers for infrastructure built for their user need on a sq m price basis, indexation of contracts and price adjustments in renewed contracts. The seaport charges, which kept in line with the development of throughput measured in tonnes, rose by 1.2% over 2014 to €306.2m.
The port stated that the fall in profitability was a result of higher interest charges and depreciation. It also resulted from operational costs which rose by 1.9% during 2014, caused primarily by additional costs related to Maasvlakte 2. As opposed to 2013, Maasvlakte 2 is now fully under the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s management. The port’s personnel costs for the year dropped by 0.9% to €103.4m. Profit from group companies amounted to €5.7m, a fall of nearly 40% compared to the year before. This fall was mainly due to costs incurred in preparing the development of a port in Brazil.
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