Shipping through Foyle Port increased by 27% over the past year leading to before tax profits of over £1.2m, according to the Chairman of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners.  Mr Garvan O’Doherty announced an excellent set of results for the year 2012 – 13 at the Harbour Commissioners annual general meeting today.

Mr O’Doherty described the past year as a momentous one for the Port.  “I was particularly proud of our role in the Clipper and Return of Colmcille events in the summer of 2012 and 2013.  The development of marina infrastructure in the city centre – on time and on budget – provided a platform for the Clipper event which will live long in the memory of our citizens.  Through Clipper and The Return of Colmcille, we worked alongside the key stakeholders in the city, and demonstrated that tapping into the potential of the Foyle helps to showcase the best this city has to offer.”

“Over this period, the Port’s profile has been further enhanced by our sponsorship and support of City of Culture events such as the Return of Colmcille pageant – for which we provided technical marine support – and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which transfixed huge crowds here this summer. These events have greatly cemented the Port’s reputation and we have also been proud to play a role in developing the marine aspects of what is now a formidable infrastructure for future tourism and economic development.”

The recent announcement of £80 million of inward investment by Evermore Renewable Energy into the Port’s land bank marks a major step forward for the Commissioners and the North West region, added Mr O’Doherty. “The location of the project at our Foyle Port facility is a major endorsement of the Port’s ability to deliver large scale projects for the Region.  It is also a validation of the Commissioners’ decision, some years ago, to invest heavily in Port fixed assets and broaden its range of activities.”

Outlining the annual results in greater details, Port Chief Executive Brian McGrath said the accounts contained in this annual report “reflect on ever improving operational performance with turnover of £6,412,615 with profit on ordinary activities before taxation of £1,225,218. This represents a significant increase in turnover driven by a 27% increase in tonnage handled. We are particularly grateful to all our customers and staff for their ongoing support.”

“This is the last report which will be presented under the current Chairman’s leadership. On behalf of the Commissioners we wish to publicly thank Garvan for his dynamic leadership and passion for the work of the Port and Harbour. His fifteen years’ service as Commissioner, Deputy Chairman and Chairman marks a distinguished career in Public Service and he leaves a strong legacy for the future.”

The Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners are the Conservancy Authority for Lough Foyle between the Harbour limits from Craigavon Bridge to a line between Magilligan Point and Greencastle, Co Donegal. The Commissioners were constituted by the Londonderry Harbour Act and Order in 1854.  Foyle Port is responsible for the day-to-day management of marine and shipping operations on behalf of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners.

The Port is a major economic driver for the region and handles over £1 billion worth of commodities per annum with over 1000 associated indirect jobs.  The Commissioners continue to seek opportunities to further expand the industrial and economic base in the North West.