Lyttelton Port Forecasts Higher First-Half Profit as Trade Offsets Quake

Lyttelton Port Co. Ltd., the largest container terminal on New Zealand’s South Island, expects first- half profit to increase at least 50 percent even after costs related to Christchurch’s Sept. 4 earthquake.

Lyttelton Port forecasts net income from trading for the six months ending Dec. 31 to be between NZ$5.5 million ($4.1 million) and NZ$6.2 million after a “strong start” to the first half, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. It reported profit of NZ$3.7 million in the year-earlier period.

The timing of earthquake insurance proceeds and related spending is “extremely difficult to forecast at this time,” Chairman Rodger Fisher said in the statement. The forecast doesn’t include impairments to the company’s assets, he said,

The port suffered damage to its wharves, cranes and other facilities when a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the region. The damage, mainly to paving and flat surfaces, would take months to fix and repairs could cost “millions” of dollars, Chief Executive Officer Peter Davie said in a Sept. 4 interview.

Net income from trading was NZ$5 million in the five months ended Nov 30, the company said today. Lyttelton Port shares were untraded as at 12:40 p.m. in Wellington.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Iain Wilson

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