Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint Harbour is going from strength to strength

By Clare Weir

Warrenpoint Harbour more than doubled its before-tax profit to £850,000 in 2013.

Profit after tax was £673,422, compared to £302,529 the previous year. The authority achieved a turnover of £4.62m – compared to £3.75m in 2012 – while cargo grew to 3m tonnes from 2.7m tonnes. The boost in business activities port side was reflected by an 18% increase in full-time employees. Animal feed imports to Ireland grew considerably. Warrenpoint's volume grew by 29% on the previous year.

Coal returned to the port for the first time since 2002 with the authority expecting volumes to grow further in 2014.

Warrenpoint also started to export bulk cement and building materials during the year. The port's annual report said that timber and steel have not reached the pre-recession heights of 2006, but added there are signs of small growth in the importation of these products.

A total of £616,000 was spent on capital expenditure in 2013. That included £260,000 on further improvements to recently acquired land holdings and buildings. The port carried out a £22m capital expenditure programme in 2010 to modernise and improve its facilities. In 2012 the port extended its land holding by a further 10 acres with the purchase of the former Gilbert Ash site. This site includes 40,000 square feet of covered storage.

The port spends around £90,000 per month in the local economy. The harbour authority takes an active part in the community with membership of the Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum.

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