Port of Salalah has reported a net loss after tax of RO 1.922 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 — a 169 per cent decline attributed in significant part to Cyclone Mekunu which devastated the transhipment hub when it struck the Sultanate’s southern coast in May this year. This compares with a net profit of RO 2.766 for the corresponding period of 2017, the company said in initial unaudited and unapproval financial results disclosed to the Muscat Securities Market yesterday.
Cyclone Mekunu, the company’s Chief Financial Officer C S Venkiteswaran said, caused “extensive damage to port assets and business operations”. Silt deposited by overflowing wadis had limited the draft of vessels calling the port, while the sinking of unauthorised dhows continue to hinder operations at Berths 1, 30 and 31, he further stated.
“Though the port operations resumed partially within 10 days after the cyclone, the port is unable to reach the operational capacity due to limitations caused by the cyclone,” the CFO said, adding that the port is adequately insured against property damage and business interruption.
Port of Salalah’s total expenses of RO 42.799 million for the nine months of 2018 include RO 3.518K towards cyclone related costs, he said. The insurers, he further noted, have approved an interim on account payment of RO 9.615K towards cyclone related property damage and business interruption, subject to final settlement. Of this figure, RO 2.884K has been received, while the balance is expected shortly, he said.
Total revenue for the first nine months of 2018 dipped 3 per cent to RO 40.877 million, down from RO 42.123 million for the corresponding period of last year.
Container throughput declined nine per cent to 2.555 million TEUs this year, down from 2.794 million TEUs for the same period of last year. General cargo volumes jumped 11 per cent to 11.392 million tonnes this year, up from 10.275 million tonnes last year.