Bosses at Port of Tyne are celebrating a return to business growth two years after coal imports on the river ended.
Unveiling details of the port’s performance for 2017, chief executive officer Andrew Moffat also announced he will be stepping down at the end of the year.
I was proud to be appointed Chief Executive 10 years ago and have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to make my own personal contribution to the development and growth of this well-established and respected business.Andrew Moffat
He has been in charge at the port for ten years, during which time it has seen record growth and investment.
Last year saw investment of more than £100million completed the port’s south bank estate at South Shields, where new facilities to handle bigger volumes of wood pellet have been under construction.
He said: “Our turnover increased to £47million, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to £8million and profit before tax was £2million.
“More importantly, for 2018, we have budgeted for significant increases with EBITDA expected to rise by over 50% to £13million.
“I’m delighted to be able to report that we are currently on target to achieve this.”
Four of the port’s five business areas saw revenues increase last year, with the fifth remaining steady.
Chairman Lucy Armstrong said: “In 2017, the business continued its transition from the impact of the loss of substantive volumes of imported coal, towards increased wood pellet cargoes, which will ensure the business returns to its growth trajectory.
“The construction of major new facilities for Lynemouth Power Ltd, which progressed to commissioning during the year, will facilitate this shift, and support increased volumes over a ten-year period.”
The number of cars handled at the port’s car terminals increased and the port retained its position as the UK’s second-largest car exporting port.
It was a record-breaking year for the International Passenger Terminal, with 52 cruise ships bringing 120,000 passengers, and 600,000 DFDS ferry customers, the most ever.
Container volumes increased by eight per cent and the Port now handles more than 40% of the UK’s raw tea imports.
Bulk cargo volumes decreased slightly but the reduction was more than offset by revenues from offshore renewable energy services.
Commenting on his departure, Andrew Moffat said: “I was proud to be appointed Chief Executive of the Port of Tyne 10 years ago and have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to make my own personal contribution to the development and growth of this well-established and respected business.
“I will be leaving knowing the Port is in much better shape than when I joined.”