THE collapse of boat building company Mustang Marine and a drop in LNG shipments has resulted in The Port of Milford Haven reporting a significant loss in profits.

The turnover for 2013 was £22.5 million, slightly down on 2012’s total of £22.7 million.

Pre-tax profits were just under £1.5 million, down from more than £4.1million in the previous year.

Commenting on the results, the chairman of the port, Peter Jones said: “We are naturally disappointed by the failure of Mustang Marine, and the write-off of our investment has had a marked effect on our results. However, we remain hopeful that we and others can find a way forward so we can protect the talent and potential that undoubtedly exists in shipbuilding and marine fabrication here.”

As a trust port, The Port of Milford Haven has no shareholders and all its profits are reinvested back into the business. It continued to invest substantially in the year, reporting more than £10m of capital expenditure that included construction of new lock gates in Milford Dock and a large-scale solar PV installation that is now operational.

In Short Sea operations, where revenues are generated by commercial activities based in Pembroke Port and Milford Dock, fish volumes landed in the year at 5,300 tonnes were higher than in 2012, and ferry and other volumes at Pembroke Port were broadly stable.

Alec Don, chief executive of the port, said “Despite the subdued results, the port is generating cash and will invest in support of its strategy of developing Pembroke Port as a centre for servicing the marine renewables sector and Milford Dock as Wales’s largest fishing port.

“Of course we have the responsibility of being a key strategic energy port for the UK, but we can clearly see the effect of the port’s over-exposure and vulnerability to this single commodity sector of energy fuels. We must continue to retain a strong cash reserve to help us adjust when necessary and sustain an investment programme through tough times."