Namport container volumes increase

• By Hilary Mare

NAMPORT’S container volumes increased by 7 338 TwentyFoot Equivalent Units (TEUs) or five percent on a year-on-year basis, the authority’s latest annual report reveals

This increase was mainly attributable to the increased trans-shipment volumes of 22 719 TEUs during the 12-month period ended March 31 2021.

“While there was an increase in the trans-shipment volumes, this did not result in a corresponding increase in revenue due to the fact that trans-shipments are a low margin product.

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Volumes for both import and export containers decreased year on year by 14 percent and eight percent respectively,” Namport CEO, Andrew Kanime said in the report.

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He also highlighted that vessel calls at the Ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz during the year ended March 31 decreased by 444 vessels or 25 percent year on year. In addition, the overall vessel gross tonnage also decreased by 2.9 million tonnes or 15 percent.

“The decline in vessel calls was mainly due to the decrease in passenger, container, petroleum, liquid bulk, research, and foreign fishing vessels as well as foreign tugs visiting the two ports on the back of the global pandemic,” Kanime further stated.

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For the reporting period, revenue for the year amounted to N$1.4 billion, representing a decrease of 12 percent in comparison to the previous financial year. The decrease in revenue was largely attributable to the decline in volumes throughput and dockings at the ship repair facilities, a direct reflection of the impact of Covid-19 on the business.

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Operating expenditure for the year amounted to N$1.3 billion in comparison to the N$1.4 billion incurred in the previous financial year.

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Overall, group operating profit amounted to N$145 million representing a decrease of 28 percent and this was predominantly due to the decline in revenue and increased asset amortization charges following commissioning of the new container terminal.

“Having joined the group on the 1st of November 2020 and in the midst of the ravaging pandemic where a lot of established businesses could not withstand the strain imposed by the scourge of COVID-19, I am extremely encouraged by the great prospects which abound in the logistics, maritime and ship repairs sectors within which the group operates.

“Despite the ongoing turbulence across all economic sectors and all over the globe, the country and the region, the group’s financial and operational performance has largely continued to show resilience during the year ended the 31st of March 2021.

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“Notably, general cargo and overall container volumes reflected healthy increases of 12 percent and five percent respectively. Hence, while the group recorded a modest operating profit of N$145 million, down from N$202 million in the preceding financial year, this was eroded by the finance charges mainly attributable to the Africa Development Bank loan which were previously capitalised during the construction phase of the new container terminal, resulting in an after-tax loss of N$72 million in comparison to a profit after tax of N$61 million for the year ended 31st of March 2020,” Kanime also states in the report.