The board of directors approved the financial statements for 2019 at Port of Aalborg’s recently held board meeting. 2019 was yet another good year with record turnover and profits. Turnover was the highest ever at DKK 215 million, while an overall profit of DKK 140 million before tax imposes a significant tax obligation of DKK 7.8 million on Port of Aalborg.
– Both turnover and profit were a positive surprise, and the growth in ordinary activities, in particular, exceeds our expectations. However, we have to remember that the sale of land, properties and plant and machinery during the year has had a massive impact on the overall results, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, Mayor of Aalborg and chair of Port of Aalborg’s board of directors.
Business park continues exceptional growth trajectory
The total volume of freight increased in 2019 to more than 3 million tonnes. Although ships are generally larger and container flow in Aalborg is on the rise, the railway, in particular, had a positive impact on this.
– 2019 was a record year, with almost 35,000 tonnes of freight being transported by rail, reducing the load on the road network by almost 3,000 lorries’ worth of freight. By the end of 2019, we had stepped up from two to three weekly departures, and we expect to add one more weekly route to and from the East Port in the course of 2020, says Claus Holstein, CEO of Port of Aalborg. He continues:
– We’re also noticing an impact from this increase in freight volume on property activities. For example, the utilisation rate of our storage facilities is close to 100%. We’ll therefore be inviting tenders for construction of a further 6,000 square metres of warehousing in 2020.
In addition to insufficient storage capacity, the Aalborg area has a shortage of production and office facilities. Many industrial districts lack the space, but Port of Aalborg has more than sufficient room for new buildings in the wide, open spaces at the East Port.
– We’re increasingly shifting our focus from water-based to shore-based activities and development of the industrial area around us, where most of our activities are located today. The local authority chose the industrial district in Aalborg East to be Aalborg’s future business development and growth zone, and we’re definitely noticing increasing interest from businesses to move their activities out to us, says Claus Holstein.
In recent years, tens of businesses have moved into Port of Aalborg’s business park in Aalborg East. In 2019, in addition to the existing space, a further 150,000 square metres of land was rented out or sold, and, so far, it seems like this growth will continue in 2020.
Joint commitment to Green Hub Denmark
Divestment – of plant and machinery, property and land – was a keyword in 2019. Among other things, approximately 1 million square metres of the land at the Nordjyllandsværket power station was sold to Aalborg Forsyning in 2019. This was an integral part of the vision to turn Aalborg into Denmark’s green testing ground, which is to be named Green Hub Denmark.
– We’ve become involved in the project because we see great potential in pushing Aalborg to the cutting edge of the sustainable agenda and, not least, in attracting even more green businesses and jobs to the town. It was therefore a natural step for us to sell our land at Nordjyllandsværket as part of the strategic development plan, which is interesting from both a local and a global perspective, says Claus Holstein, and he continues:
– Sustainability and greening are vital focal points for Port of Aalborg. We spend massive resources, not only on optimising our own business but on creating the right conditions for our clients – by ensuring greener energy and business models for individual companies and by creating symbioses and green collaboration between the businesses.
Billion-kroner investment in the pipeline
The positive results in 2019 make a powerful contribution to Port of Aalborg’s plans to invest a total of DKK 2 billion in the Aalborg East business park over the next ten years, equivalent to DKK 200 million each year.
– We want to create a framework that will support companies’ operations and growth. This will include infrastructure, state-of-the-art storage and production facilities as well as other logistics options such as the railway, which will be one of our prime focus areas in 2020, says Claus Holstein.
Port of Aalborg has most recently invested in a new test facility for BLAEST’s wind turbine blades and in the construction of a new factory building for the methanol fuel cell manufacturer Blue World Technologies. Port of Aalborg is also currently in the process of parcelling out an innovative development area, focusing on business symbioses and free flow of resources. Blue World Technologies is one of the companies that will be moving in here.
The targeted focus on investments is part of Port of Aalborg’s ten-year strategy, the aims of which include doubling turnover, from DKK 200 million to DKK 400 million, attracting 10–15 large companies and creating 5,000 new jobs in the Municipality of Aalborg. This represents significant growth, and it will come, primarily, from the international market.
– Our objective is to add value for the whole of Aalborg, and we won’t achieve that simply by moving companies around within the local area. We believe that increased internationalisation will be the key to realising our ambitious goals and to promoting growth throughout the municipality. A natural element of this strategy was for us to change our name to Port of Aalborg, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.
– International businesses should come to Port of Aalborg because we are a port – a gateway to an international port area with highly ambitious development plans. We have a business park with multimodal logistics options, we are a global leader in sustainability and we have one of the world’s best technical universities in our back yard. We provide a world of potential for developing good businesses into spectacular businesses. That’s why we call our vision “gate to great”.
Port of Aalborg expects a profit of around DKK 50–60 million in 2020. This is without taking into account the COVID-19 situation, the consequences of which are as yet unknown.
For further details, please contact:
- Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, Mayor of Aalborg and chair of the board of directors of Port of Aalborg A/S, +45 99 31 15 00 and email@example.com
- Press Service: Maja Thordahl Schou, Communication Consultant, Port of Aalborg A/S, tel. +45 22 61 83 08 and firstname.lastname@example.org