Major increase in shipping through Derry Port.

Garvan O'Doherty.
Garvan O'Doherty.

Shipping through Derry’s Port increased by 27% over the past year leading to before tax profits of more than £1.2 million, it’s been revealed.

Chairman of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners, Garvan O’Doherty, announced the figures 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,” he said. “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.”

Mr. O’Doherty said the recent announcement of £80 million of inward investment by Evermore Renewable Energy into the Port’s landbank marks a major step forward for the Commissioners and the North West region.

“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,” he added. “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 the 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.”

He added: “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.”