Dublin Port Company today published trade statistics for the first quarter of 2016 showing continued strong growth of 6.8% after last year’s record throughput of 32.8 million gross tonnes.
Total throughput for the three months to the end of March was 8.4 million gross tonnes with 1,790 ship arrivals, equivalent to 20 ships each day. Both imports and exports grew strongly with imports ahead by 6.0% and exports even stronger at 7.9%.
The Port’s tourism business also performed very strongly with ferry operators including Irish Ferries, Stena Line and P&O increasing passenger volumes by 2.6% and tourist vehicle numbers by 6.3%.
Elsewhere in the Port’s tourism business, the cruise business started as early as January with three calls in the first quarter as a whole.
Eamonn O’Reilly, chief executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Having seen growth of 17.3% in the three years to last December, 2016 has started strongly with growth of 6.8% in the first quarter. Were growth to continue at these rates, Dublin Port’s throughput would double by 2026.”
He continued: “We have commenced work on the €230m ABR Project which will expand capacity in Dublin Port and will be largely completed in four years. In light of the continuing high level of growth, we will also this year begin to plan other major master plan projects which will be required if we are to have the capacity available in time to meet the expected high levels of future growth.”
Dublin Port has the financial resources for this major infrastructure development programme having seen turnover grow by 7.8% to €77.7m last year and EBITDA grow by 14.0% to €49.3m. The Port has announced that it will pay a dividend of €10.9m, bringing the total dividend payment since 2007 to €89.5m.