NEW Zealand’s Port Nelson saw some ups, and some downs over the 2023 financial year, according to its recently released annual report.

According to its statement on the port’s 2023 performance, its cargo throughput came to 3.2 million revenue tonnes, in line with the previous two years.

Nelson’s container throughput increased 2% in 2023 (over the previous financial year) to 105,400 TEU.

While total trade remained the same, and TEUs increased, total vessel visits (over more than 100 GRT) decreased. In 2023, 747 vessels came to the port, down 2.6% on the previous year.

Over the period, the port’s revenue increased to NZ$85.8 million – up 11.7% from 2022.

However, its net profit after tax decreased by 22.5% to NZ$9.3 million, from NZ$12 million the year before.

The port’s declared dividend came to NZ$4 million, down from NZ$4.3 million the year before.

Port Nelson chief executive Hugh Morrison noted the port had provided its forecast dividend amidst tightening export markets and supply chain challenges.

“Port Nelson’s purpose is to facilitate regional prosperity, providing a NZ$4-million dividend to our shareholders, Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, is an important contribution to that regional prosperity,” Mr Morrison said.

“We have faced challenges this year that have impacted our end of year results. A record volume of apple and wine exports helped offset what has been difficult ­trading conditions for imports and exports of fish, sawn timber and general cargo. Log exports also had a slow start to the year however, the sector recovered to return to forecasted volumes ahead of a market slowdown in June.”

In a statement, the port said it faced strong cost pressures during the year, particularly fuel, interest, payroll and insurance costs.

“One-off factors impacting the business were a slight uplift in investment property values, a write-off of feasibility costs related to the intended Science and Technology Precinct and most significantly recognition of beneficial interest rate swaps, triggered by the establishment of Infrastructure Holdings. Together these one-offs contributed to its overall NPAT result of NZ$9.3 million,” the port said.

Looking to the future, the port said it anticipates ongoing trading challenges for exporters over much of the 2024 financial year but expects improvements in container shipping schedule reliability.

“We would like to acknowledge the work the Port Nelson team has done in what has been another challenging year.” Mr Morrison said.