In 2010, the port recorded a total cargo traffic of 48 million tonnes: a growth by almost one third as against 2009. This increase is also reflected in Ghent Port Company's financial result as appears from the 2010 annual account.
Profit and turnover
The profit for the fiscal year 2010 amounts to 9,258,676.90 euros, over 3 million more than in 2009 (6,218,116.64 euros).
The strong turnover leads to a positive trading result (this is 3.5 million euros better than in 2009) and is even strengthened by the financial result (subsidy depreciations) without being dependent on exceptional windfalls.
Stimulated by the strong economic recovery in 2010 the Port Company registered a turnover increase by 15% or practically 4 million euros. The record traffic volumes are translated into record turnovers for maritime and inland navigation dues (+24% or +3 million euros), even as the Port Company kept the tariffs unchanged. The port dues make up 36% of the proceeds (32% in 2009). Also the yields from concessions grew (by 6.5% or 0.9 million euros) on top of the average indexation of 2.2%.
Total trading expenses increased to a limited degree (by 0.5 million euros or +1%) to 32.7 million euros. This is caused by the favourable effect of provisions (3.4 million euros positive) whereas other expenses increased by 13%.
Use of profit
10% of the profit or 925,868 euros is allotted to the legal reserves. After making over 32,809 euros to the non profit organization 'Sociale Dienst voor het Personeel van het Havenbedrijf Gent' (social service for Ghent Port Company personnel) 8,300,000 euros are added to the other reserves.
This profit reservation keeps Ghent Port Company's financial strength up in order to be able to pay important operational expenses (such as personnel costs and purchases). But also to be able to continue to participate in the future in the development of the port area and the port infrastructure: the financing of the new sealock in Terneuzen and the 80 million euros investment in port infrastructure (part of which will be paid by the Flemish government).
As territorial manager of Ghent port, the Port Company does not aim at a profit maximization but it herewith dedicates itself to continuity and sustainable growth of the port and its activities.
In the year 2011, Ghent port finds itself on the eve of a crucial moment for the future. The financial stability and resources of Ghent Port Company are a must in order to be able to take the step towards co-financing the new sealock.
Photo: Tom D'Haenens