Foyle Port posts resilient results despite pandemic challenges

Foyle Port’s latest financial results for the financial year ending March 31 2021 show that performance at the Port has remained ‘resilient’ over the past year despite the severe challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:00 pm

Foyle Port’s latest financial results for the financial year ending March 31 2021 show that performance at the Port has remained ‘resilient’ over the past year despite the severe challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The figures published today show that trade has reduced by 9% to 1.7 million tonnes while the Port’s operating profit reached £1.5 million, reflecting a 12% reduction on the previous year. Turnover at the Port was £9.2 million, slightly down on last year’s pre-Covid £10.4 million.

Despite the unprecedented challenges that both the pandemic and the post-Brexit landscape posed to the Port, and the maritime sector more generally, Foyle Port reinvested approximately £1 million in fixed assets, taking the Port’s asset base to £42.7 million.

Foyle Port

The Port, which employs 108 people and generates £4.3 million in wages annually, also sources 80% of its electricity from low carbon fuel sources and is continuing to meet its decarbonisation obligations by investing in electric vehicles. Over the last year, the Port has reduced its CO2 emissions by 76 tonnes.

The Port has also supported a number of charities and charitable initiatives over the past 12 months which includes forming a new partnership with leading mental health charity Aware NI, implementing a new Mental Health Policy at the Port, and ensuring that 1% of all Port profits go towards the Port’s Corporate Social Responsibility Fund with donations to local charities and clubs.

Speaking at the Port’s AGM today, Bonnie Anley, chair, Foyle Port, said: “Today’s financial results illustrate the scale of the challenge that the Covid-19 pandemic and grappling with the post-Brexit trading environment have posed to Foyle Port. Despite these challenges, however, the Port’s financial performance has remained impressively resilient. I want to extend a special thanks to all of our employees who have worked so diligently over the past 12 months and in the most difficult of circumstances. Ably led by our senior executive team, our entire staff have shown great professionalism and adaptability in transitioning to a difficult working environment.

“During this tough year, the Port played its role, as a key worker designated service, facilitating the vital trade flows into and out of the North West region. As this year progressed, Commissioners successfully ensured that our core business remained fully operational whilst, at the same time, continuity plans were quickly implemented as required.

Foyle Port CEO, Brian McGrath

“Foyle Port’s performance has shown great resilience in the face of challenge but the Commissioners remain focused on innovation and adaptability to ensure that we deliver a solid business model for future generations. The Commissioners remain steadfast in delivering for the North West region whilst mindful of the priority to continue to support our customers and safeguard the wellbeing of our employees.”

Brian McGrath, CEO, Foyle Port, added: “Our number one aim this past year throughout the pandemic was to protect our employees and keep Foyle Port operating in line with our statutory duties. We transitioned successfully to a home and hybrid working model for our office staff with no impact on the quality or efficiency of our work or productivity. We have expanded our HR, engineering, corporate services, and marine services teams with new team members. While this has been a challenging year for the Port, we are proud of our collective resilience and strength, and I want to thank every member of staff and the Executive Team for their personal contributions. I particularly appreciate the unwavering support from the Chair of the Board and the Commissioners during this time of crisis.

“We are proud of the steps we continue to take to minimise our carbon footprint, having reduced our CO2 emissions this past year by 76 tonnes. Decarbonisation and diversification are key priorities for Foyle Port as we go forward. Our substantial landbank here at the Port, with a potential 500 acres expansion capacity and up to three million square feet of warehousing, gives us the ability and the flexibility to diversify our operations, meet our green obligations, and attract new investment.

“Looking forward, a wholesale modernisation of Northern Ireland’s harbour legislation and our designation as a Freeport would stimulate a step change in operational scale which will be driven by shipping, green energy, and innovation. Over the next year, we look forward to working closely with the Department for Infrastructure and the entire Northern Ireland Executive to recognise the potential offered by Foyle Port as a vehicle to ‘level up’ the North West regional economy.”

Foyle Port chair, Bonnie Anley

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