Investment grows in port facilities

A key Blyth business has reported another year that saw turnover grow, but operating profits fall.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 12:15 pm
The Port of Blyth has announced its financial figures for 2018.

The Port of Blyth revealed its yearly figures at its annual public meeting.

The year 2018 was another busy year for the port and a significant one for investment.

Although adjusting operating profits fell to £690,000, turnover grew by more than six per cent to £21.9m, and deadweight tonnage again topped two million.

In anticipation of growth over the next five years, investment climbed to a 13-year high.

Regarded as one of the UK’s leading offshore energy bases, Port of Blyth welcomed new high profile clients such as TEXO Group, while tenant Royal IHC signed a new long-term deal.

Investment grew by 58 per cent on 2017 to £6.8m as the port undertook its most significant level of development since the full-scale expansion of its Battleship Wharf terminal in 2006.

A joint project with the Environment Agency provided flood protection for more than 800 homes and nearly 400 businesses whilst providing the port with the opportunity to join two terminals into one super terminal as part of wider redevelopment.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive, said: “With the current climate proving challenging for many in the port and marine industry, Port of Blyth continued to progress; investing in our future, growing our client base and hosting a number of internationally significant projects.”

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell has hailed the “roaring success” at the port.

He said: “Investment grew by 58 per cent on 2017 as the port undertook its most significant level of development since the full-scale expansion of its Battleship Wharf terminal in 2006.

“That’s a roaring success story by any standards and all the evidence suggests that it will continue to grow over the next five years.”

Elsewhere, quay strengthening and the construction and refurbishment of property delivered improved facilities for customers and a number of major projects carried out in Blyth, including work on two electrical interconnectors with Europe, showcased the port’s capabilities to an international audience.

Logistics subsidiary Transped performed well, with its own turnover topping £9m for the first time, while the port’s training arm retained its position as a market leader in the ports skills and safety sector.