News Column

Riverport nets $1.8 million in '13-14

July 27, 2014

By Steve Vied, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

July 27--The Owensboro Riverport Authority finished the 2013-14 fiscal year in June with $1.8 million in net income from operations on revenue of $6.54 million, which missed the income target by about $312,000 set by the budget.

But Brian Wright, ORA president and CEO, said the terminal nevertheless finished the year in strong fashion, and the outlook for the current year is positive.

"Given the fact of significant changes here with the budget, we're confident with where we stand today," Wright said.

While revenue came in about 5 percent less than expected, expenses actually came in higher than expected by $25,000 at $4.88 million.

The main culprit in the lack of operating revenue was warehouse storage, which fell $200,000 short of its projection, with customers successfully finding ways to reduce their inventory, according to Wright. Add to that the fact that some anticipated storage business simply failed to materialize, he said.

In approximate numbers, the terminal earned $1 million in warehouse handling, $1.3 million in warehouse storage, $3 million in terminal handling, $750,000 in terminal storage and $625,000 in leases. The single largest expense line was just more than $2 million for labor and benefits.

But in terms of pure operating revenue, the riverport took in only $32,515 less than last fiscal year, which resulted in a record for net income for that year of more than $2 million.

"I feel we are in a stable position at the end of the year and going into a new year," Wright said.?

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"There is a lot of activity on the horizon. It's never certain, but with our infrastructure improvements, we're very optimistic. We're hoping our new dock will help us long-term to build momentum."

The riverport's longer, higher and bigger cargo dock, built at a cost of $6.7 million, is scheduled to be finished in late August and be in operation in September. A tentative date of Oct. 15 has been set for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new dock.

One month into the 2014-15 fiscal year, the terminal has $8.3 million in cash on hand, Wright said, but $4 million of that is committed to dock construction expenses. The port also needs a new cargo crane, which is expected to cost $2 million to $3 million. The dock's primary crane is on its third diesel engine and showing significant wear, Wright said.

The riverport's budget for the current year puts total revenue at $6.549 million, very close to where the 2013-14 year ended. Total costs are projected to be $5.121 million, which would make net income finish at $1.43 million, if those projections hold.

Steve Vied, (270) 691-7297,


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Source: Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY)

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