ABERDEEN Harbour Board increased profits by almost 50 per cent last year amid challenging trading conditions for the key oil and gas sector helped by the sale of some land. The organisation made £27m pre tax profit in 2017 compared with £18.7m in the preceding year. The port recorded a 5% increase in vessel arrivals, the first since 2014. It said the rise in profits was due to a £10.9m gain on the disposal of land. Chief executive Michelle Handforth said the land sale proceeds would help fund work on the £350m South Harbour extension project in Nigg Bay, which will provide benefits for the whole of the UK.