South Port is warning the disruptions to global supply chains will continue to weigh on its earnings after reporting a 3.3% dip in first-half profit.

The operator of the country’s southernmost port, in Bluff, reported a profit of $5.9 million in the six months ended Dec 31, down from $6.1m a year earlier.

Revenue was almost unchanged at $23.3m as increased cargoes of stock food and aluminium offset a 23% decline in container volumes.

Chairman Rex Chapman said the covid-19 pandemic continues to weigh on the outlook for transport and logistics, with container activity set to keep experiencing disruptions until next year at the earliest.

“The outlook for export log markets is expected to remain subdued until at least the second quarter of 2022, post-Chinese New Year. However, other bulk cargoes are expected to hold up well during this time,” Chapman said.

The port operator, two-thirds owned by Environment Southland, expects to report a profit of between $9.7m and $10m in the year ending June 30. That’s down from a record $10.7m reported in the June 2021 year.

The board declared an interim dividend of 7.5 cents per share, unchanged from a year earlier, to be paid on March 8. If it meets earnings guidance, the annual payment will be 27 cents, matching the prior year’s return.