AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Trade growth delivers strong profit for Melbourne

<p>Despite a massive increase in capital expenditure, the Port of Melbourne Corporation has delivered a strong operating profit after tax of $21.6m for 2004&#4705, mainly due to significant growth in trade through the port.</p> <p>Reflecting the first full year of operations following the amalgamation of the former Melbourne Port Corporation and the Victorian Channels Authority, the result represents an increase of $13.5m on the previous financial year.</p> <p>Port of Melbourne Corporation chief executive Stephen Bradford said this was a very strong result for the port in its first full year of operation as a new entity. </p> <p>Revenue totalled $124.6m, an increase of $22.8m (22%) on the previous year. Revenue from wharfage charges of $60.9m was 27% above the previous year due to significant growth in trade through the port which saw an 11% increase in total container throughput. </p> <p>Revenue from Station Pier, the responsibility of the corporation since February 2005, also contributed to the total.</p> <p>The port handled an Australian record of 1.9m teu during the year and delivered a capital works program, which included substantial investment in rail infrastructure and berth upgrades.</p> <p>Total expenses from operating activities increased by a modest $5.4m to $87.7m in 2004&#4705, including a provision for environmental and restoration costs of $4.5m relating to the clean up of contaminated land in Yarraville.</p> <p>Capital expenditure projects totalled $50.3m, including $25.2m on progressing the channel-deepening project, together with the upgrade of existing berths, rail developments and infrastructure assets at a cost of $25.1m.</p> <p>Major projects completed during the year included the Mackenzie Road extension and grade separation, and enhancements to rail access to Patrick’s East Swanson Dock and ABA grain terminals. </p> <p>The major upgrade to the port’s security infrastructure also continued.</p> <p>Mr Bradford said that as the port of Melbourne was the linchpin in the logistics network for Victoria and southeastern Australia, channel deepening was a top priority and the port would continue to work towards achieving the required approvals in the year ahead.</p> <br />