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Dublin Port plots steady course with slight profits rise

Turnover also up as State enjoys €16m dividend

TURNOVER at Dublin Port edged fractionally higher last year at €69.1m, with profits also increasing slightly.

Exports were up at the commercial semi-state to 11.5 million tonnes but were offset by a 2pc decrease in imports to 16.6 million tones.

Operating profit increased by €0.8m to €27.8m on 2010.

The State also took three times more cash in dividends than in 2010.

In accounts filed with the companies office, the company said it paid out €16.5m, compared with €5.5m the previous year.

But it added that "recognising the difficult economic challenges facing the exchequer", the amount paid in 2011 included an additional €10m.

Chief executive Eamonn O'Reilly, who was paid €285,000, said that despite the positive indications last year the outlook for this year in volume terms was to remain at the same levels.

He said it was a matter of concern that some services operating in and out of Dublin continue to lose money.

"Although port charges constitute a small part of overall supply chain costs, it is important that we endeavour to make Dublin Port as cost efficient as possible for our customers and that we do not add pressures on their cost base," Mr O'Reilly wrote.

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The accounts also show that Dublin Port Company was left with a €1.8m bill following its amalgamation with Dundalk Port as a result of unfunded pension obligations.

A breakdown of turnover showed that the vast bulk -- €55m -- came from port dues, while the remainder included €11.8m from rents and €1.1m in profits from the East Link Toll Bridge.

Almost €102,000 was paid in fees to the company's 11 directors.

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