INCREASED trading in the Bantry Bay Port Company resulted in increased turnover there last year.
Just released annual figures show turnover increased to €0.54m in 2017, from €0.21m in 2016.
Phase 1 of the Bantry Inner Harbour Development costing in the region of €9m was completed last year with the official opening ceremony of the Bantry Marina development taking place last August.
Combined with the Port of Cork Company, consolidated turnover for the year 2017 amounted to €31.5m up from €29.6m in 2016.
Consolidated profit on ordinary activities before taxation amounted to €5.9m compared to €4.1m in 2016, an increase of €1.8m due to improved trading activity and an improved return in Bantry. Profit after tax amounted to €5m in 2017 (2016: €3.3m).
The cruise business has also gone from strength to strength with 68 cruise liners calling to Cork and seven calling to Bantry in 2017.
These cruise calls brought over 142,000 passengers and crew to the region, providing a substantial contribution to the local economy. In 2018, 96 cruise liners will visit the Port of Cork, a 30% increase on 2017 calls.
Other figures show that in 2017, Port of Cork and Bantry trade traffic totalled 10.3m tonnes compared to 9.5m tonnes in 2016 which represents an increase of 814,000 tonnes or 8.6%. Total oil throughput in 2017 through Bantry Bay and Whitegate oil refinery amounted to 6.4m tonnes up from 5.7m tonnes in 2016, an increase of 11.4%.
Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins said: ‘Our annual results for 2017 are very positive and the increase in total traffic is a reflection of these figures. I am also pleased to say that in 2017 the Port of Cork Company approved a dividend payment to the Exchequer of €693,065, an increase of 3% on 2016.’
Another notable achievement in 2017 was the progress made on the establishment of a new ROPax service to Northern Spain and France culminating in the announcement by Brittany Ferries of a new twice weekly service to Santander, Spain and year round service to Roscoff, France.