Revenue of the Port Authority rose by 3.1% last year due to increased economic activity at the port. However, profits fell by 4.9% owing to higher interest charges and depreciation. The completion of phase 1 of Maasvlakte 2 brought the level of investment down to €189 million, a level that is still higher than before construction started on the new port area.
Financial director Paul Smits: "We are not surprised by the fall in profit. The massive investments of the past few years have caused our long-term debt rise to €1.3 billion, which also means a rise in our interest charges. In addition, the early repayment of a long-term debt of €45 million involved the payment of additional interest charges. Also, the commissioning of Maasvlakte 2 led to a rise in depreciation of €7 million. At the same time, the rise in our revenues was limited, resulting in lower profit. We use our profit to distribute dividend and reduce our debt, but mostly to invest in the port."
The Port Authority's two key sources of income are the leasing of the land and the seaport duties payable by ships docking at the port. Revenue from the lease of land rose by €16 million (+5%) to € 337.5 million. This rise was caused by the release of a number of new sites, the charging on to individual customers for infrastructure built for their user need on a square metre-price basis, indexation of contracts and price adjustments in renewed contracts. The seaport charges, which kept in line with the development of throughput measured in tonnes (+1.0%), rose by €3.6 million (+1.2%) to €306.2 million. In total, company revenue rose by €19.9 million (+3.1%) to €659.8 million.
Operational cost rose by €2.4 million (+1.9%), caused primarily by additional costs related to Maasvlakte 2. As opposed to 2013, Maasvlakte 2 is now fully under the Port Authority's management. Personnel cost dropped by 0.9% to €103.4 million. Profit from group companies amounted to €5.7 million, a fall of nearly 40% compared to the year before. This fall was mainly due to costs incurred in preparing the development of a port in Brazil. Our joint venture with the Omani Government in the port of Sohar (Oman) remains successful.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority invested €189.4 million in 2014, while in 2013 that figure was €262.9 million. The lower level of investment is attributed to the completion of the first phase of Maasvlakte 2. The Port Authority intends to re-invest the largest possible share of its revenue back in the port. These investments will be mostly directed at servicing its current customers and sectors, but the Port Authority is also eager to expand its activities in the port and to invest in innovation. The Port of Rotterdam Authority's investments in 2014 included redevelopment of the RDM area for various customers, poles for ship to ship handling on Maasvlakte 2, the widening of the Amazonehaven, improving vessel accessibility to the Botlek and a new viaduct near ECT and APMT on the Maasvlakte.
In line with long-standing agreements, the Port Authority will distribute a dividend for 2014 of €89.2 million (+2.1%) to its shareholders: the municipality of Rotterdam (70%) and the Dutch State (30%). The municipality will receive €63.2 million, while the State receives €26 million. The dividend pay out for 2013 was €87.4 million.
Source: Port of Rotterdam