Shipping segment drives strong profits growth for Peel Ports Group
Liverpool-based Peel Ports Group has seen a huge increase in pre-tax profits for the year to March 31, 2023.
Its latest accounts filed at Companies House shows the group saw pre-tax profits soar from £66.6m in 2022, to £397.3m.
Turnover rose from £617.8m to £696.3m.
Peel Ports said the increase was largely due to the shipping segment where turnover increased by 48.2% as a result of higher charter and bunker rates.
The group paid out an ordinary dividend of £138.9m, compared with £88.9m in 2022.
However, tonnage throughput of commodities fell from 65.8mt to 63.6mt with both the Ports and the Shipping segments handling slightly lower volumes than the previous year, primarily due to disruption in the containers market caused by the war in Ukraine and general global economic uncertainty, together with the effects of the industrial action in the Liverpool container terminals during 2022.
The group said the strong results for the year demonstrated its ability to continue to respond with agility to risks and opportunities in challenging markets.
During the year the group raised £349.5m, against £95m the previous year, from the issuance of private placement loans with a maturity of seven to 12 years and £76.9m (£40m in 2022) from a bank loan with a term of seven years. The group repaid £231.9m (£9.6m in 2022) of bank facilities and institutional and private placement loans.
Peel Ports Group is the Statutory Port Authority for the Port of Liverpool, the UK’s third largest port in terms of tonnage, Manchester Ship Canal, River Medway, parts of the area along and around the River Clyde, Ardrossan Harbour, Twelve Quays at Birkenhead Docks, and Heysham Port.
The group also operates Great Yarmouth Port as an agent of Great Yarmouth Port Authority. In March last year it acquired the Humber Bulk Terminal on the south bank of the Humber Estuary, for £24.5m.
Container facilities, freight forwarding and cargo handling services are also provided at Dublin Port, under concession