Teesport operators Brookfield Ports says pre-tax profits have increased to £6.3m across its UK operations.
The group, which also runs sites around the country, saw pre-tax profits rise from £4.8m to £6.3m in 2014.
More than 90% of the company’s profit is derived in the North East, which has seen growing cargo volumes, group chief financial officer Dermot Russell told The Journal.
Revenue across the group also increased from £127.8m to £133.43m during the year, on the back of investment activity in its Teesport site — particularly Container Terminal 2.
The group expects Teesport to move up in the rankings of the top five UK ports by tonnage volumes in a forthcoming Department for Transport report.
Unitised volumes — the cargo handled by the group’s ferry, container and rail terminals — increased by 13% at Teesport, well above UK market growth of 5.5%.
Mr Russell said: “One of the main reasons for this growth is the good volumes across the vast majority of our businesses.
“With investment our business has started to move in the right direction in a number of ways. We’ve invested quite significant in the last few years, including the expansion of Teesport Container Terminal 2, where we have been really successful in routing new cargo through.”
Since the period under review, PD Port — the group’s key trading company — secured a seven-year deal to handle steel slab products from SSI UK’s Redcar plant.
SSI UK restarted steelmaking at Redcar around three years ago and since then more than seven million tonnes of steel slab has been exported through Teesport.
The new contract is expected to lead to the creation of 30 jobs at Teesport.
At the time, Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports’ managing director Bulks and Port Services, said: “We are delighted to have agreed a new seven-year deal with SSI UK. We have worked hard to support SSI UK since the recommencement of steel production on Teesside in 2012 through improved efficiency of our operations and investment in our facilities.
“This contract demonstrates the close partnership between our businesses which we are sure will continue for many years to come. It provides the capacity to increase the volume of exports as SSI’s production grows and secures the long term position of Teesport as the UK’s premier bulk exporting port.”
Mr Dermot said it was hard to distinguish particular sectors which had fuelled the group’s cargo volumes, but added: “We see imports and exports from a wide variety of sectors, and our focus is growth in containers across the board. The Teesside chemicals industry is perhaps a good example to look at. There we’ve seen a shift from producers importing raw materials in bulk liquid format to container format, which has benefitted us.”
Brookfield Ports, which employs an average of 1,235 staff across its operations, also improved its lost time injuries frequency — a key performance indicator in health and safety.