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Tacoma port facing tough profit poor years through 200

Tacoma port facing tough profit poor years through 200

Flat international cargo volumes are expected to cause a dip in profits next year for the Port of Tacoma, and a loss in 2009 before pick up again in 2010, port officials said last week.

   The estimates, which also showed a dip in 2007 profits for the port, were presented during the Tacoma port commission's preparations for this Friday's expected vote on the port's 2008 budget.

   According to the forecast the port expects to see about 86 percent of its profits vanish next year, dropping from $13.9 million this year to $2 million in 2008. The following year, port forecasters predicted, will be even more brutal on the port, with a $17 million loss expected in 2009. Profits are expected to climb back to $16.4 million in 2010.

   The news comes as the port is set to begin work on a nearly $1 billion, five-year revamp of some current facilities, including a $300 million container terminal project for Tokyo-based NYK Line.

   Despite the projected dearth of profit, port officials said that, unless faced with some unforeseen circumstances, the capital improvement budget for the port is unlikely to be affected.

   The port also plans to maintain a two-to-one net revenue to debt service ratio throughout the development.

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