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 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...