In the Port of Milford Haven’s 65th year, revenues exceeded £40m for the first time; closing the year at £41.3m. Despite a slight fall in shipping numbers (to 1,909) and cargo (to 34.7m tonnes), the marine division remained busy, safely shepherding 58.7m gross tons of shipping in some of the world’s most challenging sea conditions. Healthy trading for the Port’s cargo handling, property, and hospitality and tourism divisions also highlighted the success of its long-term growth and diversification strategies, helping boost this year’s strong financial performance which saw profits rise to £4.1m.

The Port of Milford Haven’s solid financial position comes at a key time as it looks to the future. The Port’s strategic growth and investment plans focus on expanding its world-class pilotage capability, developing infrastructure to become a leading renewable energy hub, and developing its hospitality offering, creating opportunities for today’s communities and for future generations.

The Port’s investment in a new (first-in-class) pilot boat during the year is a key step in supporting its pilotage growth ambition. It emphasises the Port’s focus on ensuring continued delivery of a world-class service for Waterway customers, and for supporting new shipping traffic associated with the hydrocarbon and renewables sector as it transitions and grows. The Port’s renewables growth strategy took a significant step forward during the year with the completion of new infrastructure; the enlarged slipway and new laydown areas, office facilities and workboat pontoons were part of the £60m Pembroke Dock Marine* project, with funding through the Swansea Bay City Deal and the European Regional Development Fund. The Port’s third strategic focus, on the hospitality and tourism sector, saw a great return on its investment to build the Ty Hotel Milford Waterfront with a strong performance in 2023, laying the foundations for further diversification and investment in this sector.

Notwithstanding a successful overall year of trading, the fishing and ferry related elements of the business continue to struggle with declining performance as a result of reduced demand.

Chief Executive Tom Sawyer said, "2023 has been a stand-out year for us, with record turnover and increased profitability. In keeping with our trust port status, we’ll be reinvesting our profits back into the business. This will translate into jobs and opportunities for our communities long into the future. We also completed major infrastructure projects, but that’s just the start of our plans. As part of a key energy and shipping hub, we’ll keep investing to ensure we continue to meet industrial demand. And our decision to diversify into hospitality and tourism has gone from strength to strength, enhancing our financial stability but also adding to the types of opportunities our community can enjoy.”

He added “Every day, I see shining examples in our communities of how all this investment could help them realise their full potential. I am excited by the boundless opportunities ahead for us all.”

2023 Annual Report & Accounts