NAPIER Port has revealed evidence of solid growth in its half-year results report, highlighting revenue growth and recovery, in particular from log exports and cruise vessel calls.

The results come as the North Island, in particular the Hawke’s Bay region where Napier is situated, continues its recovery after the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle in February 2023.

Overall revenue rose by 10.1% to NZ$70.6 million when compared with NZ$64.1 million in the same period in 2023, while reported net profit after tax increased 64.8% to NZ$14.3 million.

Bulk cargo recovery was positive, increasing 27.1% to NZ$26.2 million, with log export volume in particular increasing by 35.7% to 1.55 million tonnes.

Cruise revenue boasted a 74.3% increase to NZ$8.9 million, with 88 cruise ship calls in the half year compared with just 62 in the year prior.

However, the results were not totally positive, with container service volumes seeing a 17.3% decrease to 98,000 TEU, as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle’s effect on production facilities and general lower economic activity.

Napier Port chair Blair O’Keefe stated in the report, “While regional recovery is ongoing following Cyclone Gabrielle, trade by key customers and cargoes have begun to return towards former levels.”

Principal exports in the Hawke’s Bay region such as fruits, vegetables, and forestry products such as timber, woodpulp, and woodchips were all impacted by the destructive effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Pan Pac Forest Products, a major manufacturer and seller of forestry products in the region, saw a severe impact to their production facilities, with the site having been submerged in two-metre-high floodwaters in February 2023.

This was directly linked in the half year report to the decrease in container volumes during that period.

This disruption however was offset by a strong market demand from China for logs, and wood pulp and timber container volumes are expected to return to historic levels towards the end of the calendar year.

Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson gave his prospects for the future, stating, “While we expect ongoing inflationary cost pressures, uncertain economic activity, and export log market conditions to remain challenging we look forward to the continuing ramp up of cargo volumes post Cyclone Gabrielle and continued earnings growth momentum.”

The port’s economic recovery was further aided by an additional NZ$7.2 million contribution from an insurance claim due to business interruption caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.