SUNBIZ

Vodafone Makes $40m Record Dividend Payout

Vodafone Fiji handed over another record dividend cheque of $40 million to its two major shareholders, Fiji National Provident Fund and ATH as dividend payment for last financial year ending
11 May 2017 11:18
Vodafone Makes $40m Record Dividend Payout
From left: Fiji National Provident Fund chief operating officer, Jaoji Koroi, Vodafone Fiji CEO Pradeep Lal, FNPF chairman Ajith Kodagoda and ATH chief executive officer Ivan Fong.

Vodafone Fiji handed over another record dividend cheque of $40 million to its two major shareholders, Fiji National Provident Fund and ATH as dividend payment for last financial year ending 31st March 2017.

This is the largest dividend payout that Vodafone Fiji has made to its shareholders to date. Since the 100 percent takeover of Vodafone Fiji by local shareholders three years ago, the company has paid a record $106m in dividends to FNPF and ATH and increased shareholder value from $390m to $620m. FNPF is the largest shareholder of Vodafone Fiji with a direct and indirect stake of 86 percent equity interest in the business.

Accepting the cheque on behalf on FNPF, the Chairman Ajith Kodagoda acknowledged Vodafone’s continued exceptional performance over two decades.

“It’s excellent news for FNPF that a 100 percent locally owned entity is able to pay out such lucrative dividends to its shareholder which benefits the ordinary Fijians who are members of FNPF.

“Every Fijian needs to understand that with the 100 percent local ownership of VFL, whatever they spent with the company will come back to them in the form of dividends or re-investment in the company,” said Mr. Kodagoda.

“Vodafone Fiji has been a star performer in the portfolio of investments held under FNPF delivering impressive returns on FNPF member funds over a sustained period,” said Mr Kodagoda.

“It has consistently delivered above average returns over the last 23 years. This is a reflection of the strength of the company, its management capability, its strategies and business processes which have remained relevant with time to meet customer expectations in a fast and globally competitive ICT industry.

“Credit goes to the board and the management for the great stewardship and strategic direction and to the employees for the passion to deliver such excellent results,” said Mr Kodagoda.

We also owe our customers and business partners much gratitude for their continued loyalty and patronage to the Vodafone network. Together we built a great local company that can be touted as a world class organisation in its class and size of operation.”

The chairman added, ATH acquired a number of ventures in the Pacific with Vodafone at the helm of its operations in the past 12 months. ATH’s next step through the acquisition progress is that the company is now working and planning towards connecting the Pacific. “Vodafone is strategically well positioned to capitalise on new and emerging opportunities in the ICT space which bodes well for the future on the company. Having served Fiji well for over two decades and building a firm foundation in the process, the company is now expanding regionally. Vodafone Fiji is well on its way to increasing its presence and footprint in the region establishing itself as a strong ICT and telecommunications player.

Vodafone Fiji has surpassed the shareholder expectations in performance of operational returns.            “Despite competition in the telecommunications sector, the company turnover has increased significantly to around $300m in the last financial year. We are proud to have grown in an empowering brand which customers trust. With 730,000 active subscribers on our network we continue to see growth in subscriber numbers largely year-on-year driven by data connections,” said Vodafone’s CEO Pradeep Lal.

Vodafone currently provides 97 percent 3G and 60 percent 4G+ population coverage in Fiji. Over the last three years more than $100 million has been injected in the expansion of mobile network coverage and in bringing world class innovative services to Fiji.

Vodafone will be channelling a further investment of $36m this year towards expanding the 4G+ coverage to over 80 percent of the populace.

Mr Lal added that Vodafone continued to invest in building capacity and capacity and capabilities in areas to lead the market with innovative business solutions that transform business processes, drive productivity improvements and business operations.

In today’s changing business and technological landscape, human capital is the key source of competitive advantage for any organisation. Likewise, the foundation of VFL’s many capabilities instills in its employees unique skills and knowledge of the firm and their functional expertise. Our People are the great assests. “My Champions”, continued Mr Lal.

Vodafone Fiji continues to attract and develop the best people to work for a very dynamic company that is at the forefront of technology. We have 260 vibrant individuals steering the company’s operations of which 99 percent are locals. 97 percent are graduates and over 60 percent holds professional qualifications of Masters or above.

“Not only are our staff well qualifies, majority are undertaking continued professional development and certifications to keep up with global standards.”

Vodafone Fiji holds the distinction for the only corporate to have won the prestigious President’s Award for Business Excellence for a record five times. The company picked up the Pacific ICT Award for the Best Digital Inclusion for its FEA prepaid power solution through the mobile phone. This is a reflection of the strength of the company, its management capability, its strategies and business processes which have remained relevant with corporate culture characterised by passion for results, its people and the vanua.

As a responsible corporate, Vodafone Fiji continues to commit to community and civic responsibilities through corporate sponsorship and projects with innovative solutions to transform the lives of the Fijian people through its philanthropic arm, Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation. The Foundation was awarded the 2016 Socially Responsible Corporate Award at the Prime Minister’s International Business Awards for the continued initiatives undertaken to make a difference in people’s lives.

It has been an exceptional year for adoption of MPAiSA in the country paving way towards mobile commerce services. Over the financial year more than $200m has been processed in transactions through the MPAiSA platform. This is evident of greater customer adoption of the mobile wallet platform  Vodafone’s scope for further inclusions in M-Commerce. Key drivers for the success of MPAiSA has been increased money transfers locally and internationally, banking integration for transfer of funds and utility services like prepaid electricity payments. The MPAiSA platform has been successfully utilized by the Government for the disbursement of the $130m grant in the Help for Homes initiatives for TC Winston victims.

Vodafone is constantly innovating and there are much promising prospects that are in channel to further explore the possibilities through MPAiSA. Major developments have been planned for Vodafone’s MPAiSA services with the expansion of its International Monetary Transfer services to big markets; New Zealand and Australia which will definitely see more customers getting acquainted to the service.

Vodafone’s MPAiSA platform currently collects over $700,000 per month in inward remittance and now with the inclusion of the two big leagues will see this surpass $2 million per month.

The outlook for E-ticketing looks positively which will be another area of major development this year as Vodafone embarks on an innovative transformation for the transport industry.

“We work towards implementing an efficient system for both the public and bus operators.

“With our umbrella body stepping onto regional shores, Vodafone has also expanded its foresight towards Pacific collaboration. Vodafone has helped its shareholder ATH; acquire businesses in the Pacific equivalent to 70 percent on Vodafone Fiji operation and for most of these new ventures Vodafone holds management contracts.

These strategic expansions will provide new growth opportunities for the business and also offer regional career opportunities. The recent Pacific collaboration can leverage on our expertise in both general management and also in specialized fields taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience to bring innovation in products and services to customers in the Pacific.

“The idea is to share the technical know-how, operations knowledge and expertise to the people so we can empower our counterparts in deriving economies of scale and driving efficiencies through pooling of resources,” said Mr Lal.

“Vodafone Fiji continues to explore new boundaries in the mobile telecommunications realm and bring to all Fijians, the next level of mobile innovation. A company with big ambitions, big dreams, good strategic foresight and a very motivated team of staff who are passionate about doing the best for customers and the company.

“We remain focused on our operation for the perceived future of Vodafone be it both for results and for our customers and other stakeholders. The future looks very promising as we journey on towards business innovation and excellence to drive a World Class Organisation.

“With the continued zeal to deliver the best to our customers and shareholders, our appetite to do better tomorrow then today is unrelenting as we see over the horizon more successes unfolding.”

 



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