Shannon Foynes Port Company, Ireland’s largest bulk port company, this week announced record operating and gross profits in its 2013 annual report.

The company, which operates six ports on the Shannon Estuary and facilitates international trade valued at over €6bn per annum, delivered a 35% increase in operating profit at €4.1m, up from €3.1m in 2012. 

It is the company’s fourth successive year of achieving record operating profits. The performance compares favourably with the backdrop of GDP contraction (-0.3%) or modest GNP growth of 2.5%.

Other achievements in 2013, as the company maintained its continuing surge over recent years are: operating margin was at 35%, again pointing to new-found efficiencies at the company which achieved margins of just 5.5% in 2006 when it had its busiest year in terms of tonnage throughput; year on year revenues increased by a healthy 17.1% in 2013 while related operating costs were up by just 7.6%; profit before tax increased to €3.4m in 2013 while tonnage throughput for all terminals on the Shannon Estuary was up 2.2% on 2012 to 10.5million tons; annual tonnages are now just over 92% of those recorded in the peak year of 2006. Tonnage throughput at the company’s general cargo terminals of Limerick and Foynes increased last year by 14%, with growth recorded in all trade categories, namely, bulk, break bulk and liquid bulk.

Reflecting on another strong year of growth by the company, CEO Patrick Keating said that, based on this performance, the targets set out in its Vision 2041 masterplan launched last year, including doubling trade over the next three decades, can be delivered on.

Shannon Foynes Port Company Chairman Michael Collins said: “Despite tonnage gains being experienced at our primary general cargo terminal of Foynes in 2012, this is the first year since 2010 where all general cargo terminals have shown an overall year on year increase. We also experienced the highest overall annual tonnage throughput at general cargo terminals since 2007.”

Mr Collins also welcomed the publication last year of the Government’s National Ports Policy and its formal designation of Shannon Foynes Port company as a Tier 1 Port of National Significance. The company, also last year, welcomed the launch of the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan by Minister Jan O’Sullivan and looks forward to the variation of the relevant local authority Development Plans to zone additional lands for marine related development.