Belfast Telegraph

Record £10m turnover for Foyle Port as it grows for seventh year in a row

Foyle Port continues to prosper
Foyle Port continues to prosper
Bonnie Anley

By Mark McConville

Foyle Port has announced a record turnover of £10m, up 9.9% on the previous year, as it reports growth for the seventh consecutive year.

The company had an operating profit of £1.9m in the 2018/19 financial year - up from £1.8m. It said it will reinvest the £1.9m in the business and on upgrading facilities.

The recent financial success has allowed the port to undertake capital investment in assets and infrastructure totalling £3.5m.

That includes the purchase of a new harbour crane and expansion of the port's landbank to 155 acres.

This year marks the 165th anniversary of Foyle Port, which was established in 1854 as an independent statutory corporation.

The average number of employees is now around 107 - which the company said is a year-on-year increase representing payroll costs of £4m per year, up from £3.6m.

It has also seen growth in its diversification programme, with the port's civil and structural engineering division, Foyle Consulting Engineers, building on its work within the construction sector and environmental consulting services for clients across the UK and Ireland.

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Foyle Port chair Bonnie Anley said it had been a "milestone anniversary year for the port" and that they are "thrilled" to see the turnover and operating profit growing again.

"Over the last year in particular, there has been ever increasing anxiety about Brexit and its impacts," she added.

"Potential change and uncertainty, both locally and nationally, has had to be managed.

"We've risen to that challenge and are ready for the outcome of Brexit in terms of a deal or a no-deal scenario. As a commercial entity, we have shown that we can be flexible and adapt to the new realities of the business environment.

"We continue to invest and innovate, so that we are ready to grasp all new opportunities arising in the future."

Foyle Port chief executive Brian McGrath added that the successful performance was "due to the dedication and collective focus of our entire workforce and the support of our customers".

"We are delivering on our ambitious strategy at a time of considerable uncertainty," he said.

"The ongoing Brexit debate and devolved political uncertainties continue to be part of our strategic thinking in the short to medium term as we enter a new era in the aftermath of a divisive Brexit experience.

"We have a strong balance sheet and are primed for future investment. We are one year ahead of delivery in terms of our strategic plan, which will give us much needed time before setting the direction of travel for 2020 and the outcomes of Brexit."

Foyle Port offers a range of services, including external marine and engineering services, each marketed under the 'Foyle' brand. Originally located in the heart of the city, the Commissioners relocated to Lisahally in 1993.

Belfast Telegraph