A record dividend of $$1,617,862 for 2015/16 was declared by the Board of Directors of the Ports Authority Tonga on 1 December 2016, during their Annual General Meeting in Nuku'alofa.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Stephen Edwards, presented the dividend cheque to the Minister for Public Enterprises, Poasi Mataele Tei, for the shareholder, the Government of Tonga.
Mr Edwards said that the dividend paid to Government grew from $283,207 in 2010 to $1,617,862 this year, representing an overall growth of 471.3%.
Compared to the 2015 financial year, the dividend paid today increased by 62%, and amounted to 75% of the Authority’s net profit after tax.
A new milestone was reached when the total income for the first time reached $10 million at the end of 2015/16, an increase of 13% from the previous year and 6% higher than the budget. This was attributed to the growth in the cargo volume and the number of ships calling at the Port of Nuku’alofa. The total income grew from 2010 to 2016 by 44.9%, an indication of the management’s efficiency in controlling the operating expenses, he said.
During the last seven years to 29 April 2016, the Net Profit After Tax grew from $535,642 in 2010 to $2,157,149 in 2016, representing an overall growth of 302.7%.
This was under the stewardship of the former directors, Mr Stephen Edwards (Chairman), Mr Richard Prema, Mr Carl Sanft, Mr Busby Kautoke and Dr. Sione Ngongo Kioa.
The unprecedented Net Profit After Tax recorded for the 2016 financial year, increased by 16% over the 2014/15 financial result.
"The Authority’s remarkable performance further reflects continued improvement in the efficiency in the Ports Authority’s operation in delivering quality services to port users and customers locally and internationally. In line with the Authority’s good performance, the Return on Equity retained the high standard achieved last year of 11% and above the target rate set by the Ministry of Public Enterprises for its subsidiaries at 10%.
"With the Ports Authority’s strong financial position, the Authority financed its CAPEX at $3.1 million and had almost $2 million cash at the Bank with a net cash generated from operating activities of $4.3 million at the end of the Financial Year 2015/16," Mr Edwards said.
New domestic wharf
Highlighting the 2015/16 financial year, HM King Tupou VI on 21 April 2016 officiated the Ground Breaking Ceremony for construction of the new domestic wharf at the Port of Nuku’alofa. The USD$30.5 million project is financed through a grant facilitated by the Government of Japan through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency – a project that Tonga highly acknowledged. This project is expected to be completed in 2018.
The Shared Board of Directors for the Transport Sector was restructured during the Financial Year 2015/16, with the appointment of the new directors: Mr Stephen Edwards (Chairman), Dr. Cpt. Sione Tu’itupou Fotu, Mrs Helen Po’uliva’ati Toli, Mr Tomifa Paea and Mr Viliami Takau Jr., from 4 May 2016.
Mr Edwards indicated that the new directors, together with management, would continue to maintain the positive trend of the Ports Authority’s financial performance and dividend payment to the shareholder in the Financial Year 2016/17 and the future.
"This is in alignment with the Authority’s expectation that the revenue growth will continue to grow in the next financial year as Ports Authority Tonga expects the volume and the size of the vessels calling at the Port of Nuku’alofa to continue to increase."
Mr Edwards concluded that the financial figures for 2016 are impressive under any circumstances.
"Such growth can be further attributed to the hard work, strategic contributions and tough decisions made by the former and new directors and close working relationship between management and the Board of Directors of which are well acknowledged."
The Ports Authority Tonga further acknowledged their sincere gratitude for the support provided by the shareholder, all of the Authority’s employees and their families, women who are involved in maritime trade, port users, importers, exporters, ship operators, shipping agents, stevedoring service providers, and the general public during the year.
"With your efforts the Ports Authority Tonga concluded the 2016 financial year well."
Members of the Ports Authority Tonga’s Board of Directors attending the presentation at their Head Office at Queen Salote Wharf were Dr. Cpt. Sione Tu’itupou Fotu, Mrs Helen Po’uliva’ati Toli, Mr Tomifa Paea, and Mr Viliami Takau Jr.; members of the management team: Mr Mosese Lavemai (Chief Executive Officer), Mr ‘Alo Maileseni (Chief Finance Officer), Mr Hakaumotu Fakapelea (Port Master), Mrs Mele Havea Lavemaau (Manager Corporate Services), Mr Halloween Kisina (Manager Operations), Mr ‘Etikeni Samani (Manager Risk and Compliance) and Mr Sione ‘Akau’ola (Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Public Enterprises).