The Netherlands: Port of Rotterdam on Right Track

 Port of Rotterdam on Right Track

In 2011, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s normalised result (net income) was EUR 186 million; that is EUR 18 million (+10%) higher than the result in 2010. Both the income from the letting out of sites and the income from harbour dues increased. The operating expenses rose slightly, mainly driven by a few non-recurring items.

Financial director Paul Smits: ‘These figures mean that we can continue with our planned investments in the port. That is very important for the development of the main port in the long term.’

The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s two most important sources of income are the harbour dues paid by ships that visit the port and the income from the letting out of sites. The harbour dues have risen by EUR 17 million (+6%) to EUR 305 million. This increase was partially due to the increase in throughput (+1%), but primarily due to the so-called 2010 crisis discount of 7% being converted into a recovery reduction of 3% in 2011. The income from the letting out of sites rose by EUR 18 million (+7%) to EUR 267 million. The reasons for this were price indexation, the extension of a number of contracts at prices more in line with market rates, and the allocation of new sites in Maasvlakte 2, amongst others. In total the operating income increased by almost 7% to EUR 588 million, EUR 37 million more than in 2010. The operating expenses increased slightly. The income from participating interests amounted to EUR 9 million in 2011, mainly due to the favourable development of the participating interest in the Sohar port (in Oman).

Investments

The trend of the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s financial position is positive. A sound financial position is important if the high investment ambitions of the port of Rotterdam are to be realised. The investment level achieved in 2011 was the highest level achieved in the history of the port; in total, EUR 494 million was invested, of which (rounded off) EUR 379 million was invested in Maasvlakte 2 and EUR 116 million in the existing port area. In 2012, investments will again amount to about EUR 500 million of which about three quarters will be invested in Maasvlakte 2.

A number of non-recurring items are not included in the normalised net income. The most important of these items is a buy-off payment of EUR 17 million for the future salaries of the bridge men and lockkeepers who were transferred from the Port of Rotterdam Authority to the Municipality of Rotterdam on 1 January 2012.

Dividend

In respect of 2011, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will pay out a total dividend of EUR 90 million to its shareholders, the Municipality of Rotterdam (70%) and the State (30%). The State will receive EUR 19 million. The Municipality will receive EUR 46 million as a standard dividend and EUR 25 million as an extra dividend in relation to the release of a provision for the Commerzbank. In 2005, the Port of Rotterdam Authority paid out a lower dividend to the Municipality and formed a provision of EUR 20 million for the guarantees allegedly furnished to this bank. This amount, plus the interest on it, is now being paid out to the Municipality, as it is highly unlikely that the Port of Rotterdam Authority will have to make any payment.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is moderately positive about the developments in 2012 and anticipates an increase in throughput of between 0 and 1%. Net income is expected to continue developing positively in 2012, due to income increasing slightly while expenses remain constant.

[mappress]

Dredging Today Staff, April 6, 2012

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