NAPIER Port has reported reduced earnings and container volumes for the nine months ended 30 June 2023.

The North Island port attributed the results to the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle in February, which weighed on exports from the region.

Revenue for the nine-month period rose 6% to NZ$90 million from the same period last year.

However, revenue for the third quarter to 30 June 2023 fell 19% to NZ$27.7 million from NZ$34.4 million in the same period last year.

The revenue-drop in the third quarter followed a 32% decline in container volumes, to 56,000 TEU.

Napier Port said the after-effects of Cyclone Gabrielle were felt across nearly all containerised cargo types, and unexpected weather and swells in June exacerbated the fall in volume.

For the nine months ended 30 June, container volumes decreased 10% to 175,000 TEU from 194,000 TEU in the same period last year.

But the company anticipates recovery of cargo volumes in the new financial year.

“Off the back of a buoyant first half, we anticipated Cyclone Gabrielle would reduce third quarter export volumes and earnings,” Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said.

“However, adverse weather in June and July that limited access to our wharves represented a further challenge to our nine months result.

“The lasting effects of the cyclone on cargo volumes are expected to persist into the fourth quarter, but our confidence of a step up in cargo in the new financial year is growing given the progress of the recovery efforts we are seeing in the region.”

Napier Port said strategies focused on yield management and pricing adjustments linked to infrastructure investments had supported revenue in the nine-month period.

“Regional infrastructure rebuilding is well underway, assisted by the ongoing financial commitment and prioritisation by government,” Mr Dawson said.

“We are particularly encouraged by the progress made by key customers affected by the cyclone.”

Mr Dawson also highlighted strong forward bookings for the upcoming cruise season, which suggest it could be busiest on record for the port.

“Interest from shipping lines meanwhile remains high, which is a measure of confidence in Napier Port’s long-term volume growth potential,” Mr Dawson said.

“Meanwhile, prudent financial management focused on the recovery of rising costs, our investments in capacity and new services coupled with our continuing focus on efficiency, value and customer service means we are well positioned to reap the benefits for the expected ramp up in volumes.”