Investment: Mersey Docks thrives on peace
Wednesday 19 August 1998
The company only finally shrugged off the last vestige of industrial militancy earlier this year when it settled a two-year strike with 329 dockers.
But peace has broken out and as a sign of confidence the company is moving ahead with up to pounds 50m worth of capital expenditure to boost future business.
It is spending pounds 10m upgrading its container facilities, plus pounds 30m building two new riverside terminals. Productivity at its key container terminal is now up 40 per cent on from where it was two and a half years ago.
Yesterday the company, which also operates the port of Sheerness in Kent, announced interim pre-tax profits up 7 7 per cent to a record pounds 23.8m. Sales grew by a similar percentage to pounds 87.8m and the dividend was hiked 11 per cent to a new high of 5.0p.
Not everything has been rosy. Volumes actually fell at Liverpool docks due to the temporary closure of a Shell oil terminal and the shutdown of a local power station.
But trade should recover this year even if a wider economic slowdown in the UK could begin to be felt.
The performance of BG Freight Line and Coastal Container Line boosted the company's shipping profits by 26.5 per cent. It is trying to increase its consultancy side and is bidding to operate the port of Maputo in Mozambique.
Shares in the company rose 10p last night to 525p, putting them on a forward multiple of around 14, based on profit forecasts of pounds 47m.
At a slight discount to rival AB Ports, the shares are still worth buying.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...