Milford Haven Port, UK’s third largest port which handles around 20 per cent of the country’s fuel requirements, reported a pre-tax profit of £8.1m on a turnover of £29.5m in 2011, up from £7.1m on a turnover of £27.8m in 2010.
This improvement had been aided by increased fuel demand during an exceptionally cold spell in the first quarter of 2011.
The Port’s chairman David Benson said that the Board welcomed the strong performance of the business in 2011, but that reduced LNG throughput over the winter of 2011/2012, coupled with the challenge of meeting pension obligations, is leading to reduced expectations for 2012.
“We have recognised the risks and have worked hard during the year to offset them by making significant contributions towards pension funds and investing heavily in a range of activities to reduce our dependence on petroleum-based shipments over the medium term,” he explained.
One such example is the recently announced merger of the Port’s ship repair business into Mustang Marine, together with an associated investment in facilities to create a centre for excellence in marine engineering based on MHPA’s dry dock and slipways. “We believe that this deal creates a business with the requisite critical mass and resources to achieve significant financial and employment growth over the next few years,” said chief executive Alec Don.
However, he warned of the need to support the threatened refining sector in the UK. “A report we commissioned from Cardiff University last year clearly highlighted the importance of the energy sector to both Wales and the UK. We need to make sure this is fully recognised by policymakers, and that more is done to make it easier to invest, operate and employ within the sector.”
LNG World News Staff, April 25, 2012