Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Port of Hueneme Back in the Black

After years of losses, the Port of Hueneme reached a milestone during its most recent fiscal year by recording over $12 million in revenues, according to new documents recently presented by the port’s finance director.

During the Oct. 8 meeting of the port’s Board of Directors, chief administrative and finance officer Andrew Palomares revealed that revenue was $12.2 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The port, which operated in the red the past three years, saw a significant recovery in fiscal year 2012, having its fourth best year in volume and highest year in revenue since its 1937 inception, according to a draft financial audit report presented during the meeting. According to the audit report, the growth stems from economic rebound as the country climbs out of the recession coupled with diversification of cargo.

“Many port customers via innovative and creative strategies increased their cargo activity,” the report states in part.” Auto carriers realized increases in project cargo and high and heavy equipment activity. Chiquita’s shift to containers brought increased export trade to the Port. Del Monte’s recent deployment of dual use ships with ro/ro capabilities allowed for cargo diversification.”

Revenues from auto cargo rose nearly 18 percent to $6.6 million, while revenues for fresh produce were up 7.4 percent to $2.9 million and property management activities rose about 17 percent, with revenues of $1.4 million, according to the data.

The port’s net income was $221,300 during the fiscal year, reflecting a turnaround from an almost $2 million net loss in fiscal year 2011.

The three years of losses have been due to various factors at the port, including a decline in vehicle imports as well as a drop in income from interest on port investments.

But regarding the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget adopted June 26, Palomares has said that a combination of reduced spending and improved cargo numbers have helped the Oxnard Harbor District, which runs the port, arrive at the determination that the port is back on solid footing.

In its 2012-2013 budget, the port anticipates a net income loss, but only of $99,000.