The two most important sources of income for the Port Authority are the lease of sites and the sea port dues ships pay when they visit the port. The income from the lease of sites rose by € 8.0 million (+2.4%) to € 348.9 million. This is the sum of new issues, the assimilation of recently signed contracts, indexing of contracts and the extension of contracts at review prices. Port dues fell by 2.3% to € 309.1 million because of a decrease in throughput (-1.1%), a decrease in the average price per tonne and a rise in discounts. The discounts on the port dues that the Port Authority gave to environmentally friendly ships rose by 21.3% to € 4.5 million. In total the operating income remained stable at € 675.4 million.
Operating costs fell by 4.5% to € 227.9 million, mainly due to the decrease in costs related to the internal operational management and the release of several reserves. The income from participating interests amounted to € 8.5 million, around € 0.4 million less than last year. As in previous years, the size of this item is being determined mainly by the successful participation in the port of Sohar (Oman).
In spring 2016, the Port Authority surrendered € 100 million of the interest derivate agreed in 2008. A sum of € 59.4 million was paid for this. In 2016, € 32.9 million of this amount was charged against the results. After the surrender, the remaining interest rate derivate was € 900 million. The Port Authority was prepared to reduce the interest rate derivate because the outstanding variable debt is declining sooner than forecast. This is due to stable sales growth, careful cost management and good risk management in investment projects.
€ 92.8 million dividend
In line with existing long-term agreements, the Port Authority suggests to the shareholders- the municipality of Rotterdam (70.83%) and the State (29.17%) – that it pays a € 92.8 million (+2.0%) dividend over 2016; € 65.7 million to the Municipality and € 27.1 million to the State.
Investments vs corporation tax
The mission of the Port of Rotterdam Authority is to create economic and social value by realising sustainable growth together with clients and stakeholders. In addition to paying off debts and paying dividends, the Port Authority uses the profits to invest in the development of the port. In 2016 investments were made in projects such as the quay walls for Sif, the berths for Stena Line, the replacement and upgrading of buoys and poles, the development of Maasvlakte Plaza and quay walls for Koole Terminals. In total, the Port Authority invested € 179.8 million last year compared to € 154.4 million in the previous year (+16.4%).
Over the coming years, the investment portfolio is well filled with projects such as the diversion of approximately 4 km of the Port Rail along Theemsweg. This is a public infrastructure project to which the Port Authority will contribute almost € 100 million. In competing ports in neighbouring countries, the government pays for this kind of public infrastructure. It is therefore particularly unfortunate that the European Commission has decided that the Port Authority is obliged to pay corporation tax as of 1 January 2017. The Port Authority has appealed against this decision because it violates the principle that there should be a level playing field within Europe.