The Port of Cork Company have today announced their annual results for 2011 and despite continuing to experience a challenging economic environment; the Port of Cork delivered a satisfactory performance with total traffic amounting to 8.8 million tonnes, which matched the 2010 traffic levels.
Turnover for the year amounted to €21.4 million and operating profit before exceptional costs and interest amounted to €1.3 million (2010: €2 million). Profit on Ordinary Activities before taxation amounted to €1.2 million. In 2011 the company maintained its commitment to capital investment, with the completion of a number of projects including, the construction of a new compound in Ringaskiddy to accommodate a new transatlantic container service.
Commenting on the 2011 annual results, Port of Cork Chairman Mr. Dermot O’Mahoney said: “Our performance overall in 2011 was satisfactory and we have started to see signs of recovery in certain trades. I believe that the Port of Cork is central to a brighter economic future for the Irish economy and particularly for the Munster region given the value it brings in moving goods to market for both customers and businesses. As one of Ireland’s major ports, we must continue to grow and improve competitiveness in the integrated route to market and this is an area which will be a huge focus for 2012 as we look to secure planning for the Port’s Strategic Development Plan”.
Oil traffic which is mainly handled at Conoco Phillips Whitegate Oil refinery amounted to 4.96 million tonnes, a 1% decrease on 2010. Non-oil traffic accounted for 3.4 million tonnes in 2011, the same level of traffic as 2010.
Container traffic in 2011 increased by 6% to 156,667 TEU’s, maintaining the Port of Cork’s status as the second busiest Port in Ireland in terms of numbers of containers handled. Throughout the year containers are shipped on regular services to and from mainland European ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugee. Additionally, there is a weekly service linking Ringaskiddy in Cork with Scandinavia, North West Europe and the Mediterranean.
Since January 2012, a weekly Deep Sea Transatlantic Container Shipping Service linking Central America to North West Europe commenced calling at Ringaskiddy. In order to optimise operational efficiencies for this significant new business, an investment of €3.5 million was made, including the purchase of new spreaders, a Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) and general engineering improvement works at the Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth.
The Port hosted 53 cruise liners in 2011 which brought over 100,000 passengers and crew to the Cork region who made a welcome contribution to the local economy. The Company continued to invest in upgrading the dedicated cruise facilities at the Cobh Cruise Terminal. This terminal accommodates some of the world’s largest cruise liners and supplements the many great tourist attractions on offer within the region. The Port of Cork is committed to the thriving cruise business, and aims to grow the business over the next five years from a high of 60 calls in 2012.
Brittany Ferries’ weekly Cork to Roscoff service had another very successful season operating from March to November 2011. The Port of Cork remains fully committed to establishing new routes and services from Cork and is currently working on the development of a route from Cork to Northern Spain.
The Port of Cork is conscious of the difficult, competitive and challenging economic business environment in existence for our customers and therefore has not increased port charges for a number of years.
In late 2011, the company commenced a consultation process with An Bord Pleanála in advance of making a planning application for infrastructure required to service business for the next twenty years. The Port of Cork Company is confident that the infrastructure proposals, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Development Plan will make a significant contribution towards the economic development of the Irish and regional economies.
Commenting on the application, Port of Cork Chief Executive, Mr. Brendan Keating said: “To deprive the Port of the opportunity of developing our facilities will undermine the competitiveness of businesses in the region and this in turn will undermine the regions ability to participate in and benefit from valuable trading opportunities. We want to continue to deliver economic growth to the region, increase employment levels and ensure the availability of a wide variety of goods and services to consumers and businesses.”
Sustaining the quality of the environment in Cork Harbour, particularly in areas which have the potential to be affected or influenced by port operations, is a priority for the Company. The Port of Cork Company is committed to the highest standards in environmental management programmes through the implementation of global best practice.
During 2011 the Company was involved in a number of local community based projects in Cork Harbour. The Port of Cork City Marina, the Millennium Garden in Tivoli, the Pier in Crosshaven and the landscaping at Ringaskiddy are all familiar local attractions. The Port of Cork also continued to work in partnership with the National Maritime College of Ireland in providing training for Port and Harbour related activities.
Additionally, the schools initiative, now in existence for over six years, continues to be more successful in raising awareness levels of the Port among primary school children in Cork. The 2011 schools project, the most successful to date with over 500 children participating, recently concluded with a large number of projects submitted from Cork’s primary schools.