A growth in forest products trade helped Associated British Ports (ABP) to increased profits in 2001.

ABP Holdings’ annual results showed a 5% increase in pre-tax profits to £130.4m and 11% turnover increase to £405.4m.

New business attracted during 2001 included Jewson‘s decision to concentrate its West Coast imports of timber and panel products through the Port of Newport.

Premier Forest Products, one of the UK’s largest independent importers of timber and panel products, also chose Newport as the site of its new head office, with shipments being received from Brazil, Spain, the Baltics and the Far East.

Timber tonnages were also up at Grimsby & Immingham and Ispwich, which secured a weekly container service linking with the Baltic ports. A £600,000, 12,500m² open storage area was also completed at the Port of Hull for use by Jewson to secure the import of up to 90,000m³ of carcassing timber.

Bo Lerenius, group chief executive, said: ‘With over half of this year’s budgeted turnover in the UK ports business already under contract, a good spread of geographical and cargo risk and new contracts to underpin our growth, the group is well placed to make further progress in 2002.’