Lyttelton Port takes $22.6M hit on Sept quake, posts loss

Article – BusinessDesk

March 2 (BusinessDesk) – Lyttelton Port Co. recognised a $22.6 million hit from the 7.1 magnitude September earthquake as it posted a first-half loss.

Lyttelton Port takes $22.6 mln hit on Sept quake, posts first-half loss

By Paul McBeth

March 2 (BusinessDesk) – Lyttelton Port Co. recognised a $22.6 million hit from the 7.1 magnitude September earthquake as it posted a first-half loss.

The Lyttelton port operator made a loss of $10.1 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared to a profit of $3.7 million a year earlier, as it wrote down the value of its land after the first of two major earthquakes in the past six months.

The company is still assessing the damage caused by last week’s 6.3 magnitude quake, which killed at least 155 people and caused as much as $15 billion worth of damage, and chief executive Peter Davie says it’s “extremely difficult” to forecast the full-year result because of the disasters.

Stripping out the impact of the quakes, the port lifted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by almost a third to $17.3 million, with a 48% lift in coal export volumes. The stock rose 0.5% to $2.20 in trading today.

“We are pleased that we have been able, with minimal loss of revenue, to operate safely and meet the increased demand from our customers following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 4 September, 2010,” said chairman Rodger Fisher in a statement. “We will continue to keep the market informed on our progress in the rebuild of the port.

The port operator said it recorded $2 million of insurance proceeds as an offset against the costs sustained, though that’s an initial payment against its business interruption policy, and doesn’t reflect the full amount that may be received. Prior to last week’s quake, Davie said he expected the claim to be at least $50 million. On Feb. 25 it received a further $10 million from the September claim.

(BusinessDesk)

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