Increased activity at the Port of Cork saw profits increase by 79% to almost €4.5m last year.
The State-owned company, which oversees port operations in Cork, saw revenue from charges to port users and property rental increase by 12.9% to €29.8m.
Ireland’s second busiest port also reported growth in the volume of goods passing through Cork in 2015 – up 8.6% to 11.02 million tonnes – although there was a slight decrease in the actual number of vessels – down 10 to 1,174.
In its annual report the company welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála, last May, to grant planning permission for a €100m redevelopment at Ringaskiddy which it described as a “critical infrastructure project”.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2018. Port of Cork chairman, John Mullins, said the overall project would facilitate, on a planned basis, the transfer of cargo handling facilities from Tivoli and the City Quays to Ringaskiddy.
Staff numbers at the company rose by five to 121 last year. Total remuneration for Port of Cork’s chief executive, Brendan Keating, remained effectively static at €239,709.
In response to a request from the company’s shareholder – the Minister for Transport – a dividend of €650,460 was paid last year, Last year also saw strong growth in business from cruise ships to Cork with the number of passengers up 22% to over 102,000. That was the first time the 100,000 mark has been passed at Cork, with the port overtaking Dublin in terms of cruise business.
A total of 57 cruise liners docked at the cruise ship terminal in Cobh and deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy during 2015 with the Port of Cork predicting the number will increase to 75 over the next three years.
It is estimated that tourists from visiting cruise ships contribute around €4m to the local economy each year.
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