SUNBIZ

Fiji Ports Corporation Hands Over $16 Million Dividend To Its Shareholders

FPCL Group Net Profit af­ter Tax of $28,041,359 represented a 6.4 per cent increase from 2017 reported NPAT of $26,345,307.
29 Mar 2019 15:19
Fiji Ports Corporation Hands Over $16 Million Dividend To Its Shareholders
Fiji Ports Corperation Limited board chairman, Shaheen Ali presents the cheque to the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Saiyed-Khaiyum on March 28, 2019.

The Fiji Ports Cor­poration Limited (FPCL) yesterday presented a dividend of $16,239,287 to the Attor­ney-General and Minis­ter for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

This dividend will be shared among its shareholders including Government, Sri Lanka company Aitken Spence and Fiji National Provi­dent Fund (FNPF).

FPCL board of di­rectors’ chairman, Shaheen Ali, said the dividend will be distrib­uted as follows;

  • Fiji Government (Ministry of Economy) owns 41 per cent of the shares $6,658,107.67
  • FNPF owns 39 per cent of the shares $6,333,321.93, and
  • Aitken Spence owns 20 per cent and will get $3,247,857.40

He stated that FPCL Group Net Profit af­ter Tax (NPAT) of $28,041,359 represented a 6.4 per cent increase from 2017 reported NPAT of $26,345,307.

Mr Ali said: “We are happy to announce that FPCL’s performance for the 2018 financial year has been encour­aging, at the back of hard-work by manage­ment guided by the board’s strategic focus ultimately resulting in higher profits.

“FPCL’s performance for 2018 has been strong, despite the adverse im­pact of Cyclones Keni and Gita on the opera­tions, in the first quar­ter of the year.

“The cyclones had a direct impact on the number of vessels call­ing into Ports.”

The performance is mainly attributed to:

  • Increase in cargo throughput, especially in the later part of the year
  • Strengthening earn­ing capacity in key ser­vices, such as tug and pilotage,
  • Significant increase in interest income – due to prudent cash man­agement strategies

“As far as the Fijian Government interest is concerned, the divi­dends has increased by in absolute terms, by $4,579,159.62, since divestment of FPCL in 2015.

“This is a clear indica­tion that the objectives of divestment, to in­crease efficiency, prof­itability and provide better services to the Fijian people is being achieved.

“The increased divi­dends and increased profits have been a di­rect result of the con­ducive business envi­ronment created by the Government.

“We have witnessed an unprec­edented level of positive economic growth, for almost a decade. This has led to increased economic ac­tivity and business, which has resulted in an increase in cross-border trade, contributing to in­creased revenue for our maritime ports,’ Mr Ali said.

As a Board, he said their plan was to continuously review the opera­tions of FPCL.

“This with the aim of maximis­ing the returns to Fiji Ports and its shareholders. We need to ensure that profitability and efficiency (the two cornerstones for ports business) increase in the long term.

“We realise that we also need to be aligned to international best prac­tices and standards and deliver quality service to our internation­al clients and the Fijian people.”

Ports

Mr Ali said in this regard, both Suva and Lautoka ports have re­cently passed the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) code compliance audit (conducted by the United States Coast Guard).

This is essential for Fiji to contin­ue its status as the hub for trade, transportation and logistics.

“In order to ensure that the Ports are able to serve in an increasingly dynamic and competitive business environment, a five-year Strategic Plan has been approved and will be implemented by FPCL.”

He said some of the strategies relating to infrastructure develop­ment in this financial year, includ­ed:

  • Implementation of Vessel Traf­fic Management System;
  • Purchase of pilot boats;
  • Infrastructure upgrade of Suva and Lautoka Ports based on asset conditioning assessment and
  • Identification of strategic al­liance option for Fiji Ships and Heavy Industries Limited.
  • Mr Ali said FPCL would continue to contribute to Fijian growth sto­ry.

Attorney-General

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has encour­aged the board to continue to think outside the box.

“The reality is the economy is growing.

“There will be a lot of cargo coming in, that is the demand of goods.”

He acknowledged the board and the chair, and also acknowledged the investors FNPF and Aitken Spence for their vision to actually invest in this particular invest­ment.

He thanked Aitken Spence for having faith to investing in Fiji.

He also thanked the management for FPCL who have been very much focused on Fiji Ports Terminal Limited.

“The dividends of course are good and there is an enormous oppor­tunity for growth, and we have al­ready seen the substantial amount of growth.”

He said not all profits declared were dividends, the company needs to return a certain amount of prof­its to invest for the company.

Feedback: lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj

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