Northern Ireland

Belfast Harbour profits rise to £30m

Belfast Harbour Image copyright Albert Bridge/Geograph

Pre-tax profits at Northern Ireland's main port have risen by 2% to £30m, off the back of a record turnover in 2015.

Belfast Harbour handled 23 million tonnes of cargo last year in what was its second busiest year for imports and exports.

Chairman David Dobbin described 2015 as "an excellent trading year".

Its annual report also shows nearly 1.4m people used ferry services to Great Britain.

Belfast Harbour operates as a UK trust port - it has no shareholders and profits are reinvested into its business.

It handles about one fifth of Ireland's entire seaborne trade.

It is spending £100m on infrastructure projects, including a new hotel and the city's second dedicated film studios at North Foreshore.

Almost seven million more tonnes of goods passed through the port in 2015 than in the depths of the recession.

The report said it "was pleasing" that the construction industry "showed some signs of an upturn".

A record 1.5m tonnes of stone were exported and there was a 76% increase in cement exports.

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