Edinburgh-based Forth Ports eyes new acquisitions

image captionForth owns seven UK ports, including Leith in Scotland

Forth Ports has said it will look to acquire other port businesses as it reported a 29% rise in interim profits.

The Edinburgh-based company, which fought off a £640m takeover approach from shareholders in May, posted a pre-tax profit of £16m for the six months to 30 June.

The rise was driven by cost-reduction measures and healthy container volumes.

Forth owns seven ports, including Tilbury in London and Grangemouth, Dundee and Leith in Scotland.

Chief executive Charles Hammond said in a statement: "Forth Ports has continued to benefit from the breadth and mix of its business base and from the associated secure revenue streams attached to it.

"Current trading continues to be encouraging.

"The ports' project pipeline is strengthening and there are greater opportunities to acquire or manage other port businesses."

Forth Ports has submitted planning applications for onshore wind installations and biomass facilities at several of its ports in Scotland.

It is planning to submit two more biomass planning applications later this year as part of a strategic joint venture with energy company Scottish and Southern Energy.

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