The Chairman of the Shared Board Transport Sector (PAT, TAL, FISA), Dr. Sione Ngongo Kioa presented a cheque of $1,642,689 million (75% of net profit after tax) to the representative of the shareholder, the Minister for Public Enterprises and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Poasi Mataele Tei, on May 4, as dividend of the Ports Authority Tonga (PAT) for the financial year 2020/21 during their 2022 Annual General Meeting, held at the Fa‘onelua Convention Centre, Nuku‘alofa.
Dr. Kioa as Chairman of the new board (which took over the directorship role from the former board on 1 March, 2022), reported that despite the challenges faced by PAT due to COVID-19, the authority had managed to fulfil its core functions to the port users and the people of Tonga. Dr. Kioa acknowledged the contribution of the previous Board of Directors and the leadership of the former Chairman, Mr. Daniel Kimball Fale during the FY 2020/21.
The Chairman added that among the major CAPEX completed during the year was the upgrade of the slipway, which cost the authority $700k, to facilitate the dry docking of up to 97% of local vessels. In addition, the upgrade of the head office ground floor was intended to bring all the HODs under one roof for ease of communications and also to move the Operation Division to a location that would improve the efficiency and logistics for the customers. Further, the dredging of Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV Domestic Wharf to allow MV ‘Otumotu Anga‘ofa to enter the new domestic wharf, was also carried out during this financial year, costing PAT $138,103
During the reporting period, the board approved the authority’s new organizational structure, which was aimed at improving accountability and to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each division and their respective employees. At the same time, the board approved the new policies to guide the decision making and streamline internal processes.
Furthermore, the Chairman said that one of the critical issues faced by PAT during the period was related to the Remuneration Authority Review. The CEO position and some of the senior roles had remained vacant to date, which in turn affected the authority’s performance and plans. The meeting discussed the need for the appointment of the CEO position, given that Mr. Maileseni had been in the Acting CEO position for about three years.
While presenting the financial results, Mr. ‘Alo ki Hakau Maileseni, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, reported that PAT’s 2021 financial results were not much different from the 2020 financial results, as both were affected by Covid-19. Diversion orders and three-days quarantine affected the cargo throughput and the number of ships that called. This was reflected in PAT’s 2021 revenue of $12.14 million, with a slight increase of just 0.3% from $12.10 million in 2020.
Mr. Maileseni commended PAT’s good management of its expenses, which resulted in a 2% decrease in PAT’s expenses, from $9.4 million in 2020 to $9.2 million 2021. Overall, PAT generated $2.2 million in net profit after tax, being a 5% increase from the 2020 net profit after tax of $2.1 million.
Mr. Maileseni added that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the authority’s financial position remained strong with a healthy cash balance of $1.4 million and a solid current liquidity of 2.07. He also noted that PAT’s return on equity of 9% was below the 10% threshold set by the Ministry of Public Enterprises for all public enterprises to achieve. This was the second consecutive year, PAT’s return on equity had been below the 10% threshold. PAT was still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the shareholder’s key remarks, the Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises and MEIDECC, in concluding the Annual General Meeting, thanked the Chairman of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors – Dr. Sione Ngongo Kioa, directors, management and staff of PAT and TAL for all their efforts and hard work.
He added that it was pleasing for the Shareholder to be able to receive the dividend payment. He praised the efforts of PAT and TAL to ensure the airport and wharf were safe and said it had contributed to keeping Tonga Covid-19 free over the past two years. Moreover, he acknowledged that PAT had concluded the Financial Year 2020-2021 successfully, despite the challenges faced, owing to the impacts of Covid-19. Not only that, but the authority had prioritized the requests from Government and, therefore, PAT could not meet some of its targets as some of their projects were placed on hold.
The shareholder’s hope was that all public enterprises would return to normal once the restrictions were lifted. He conveyed his best wishes to PAT and TAL for their future operations and plans for the current financial year.
Represented at the Annual General Meeting were the Board of Directors:
- Chairman, Dr. Sione Ngongo Kioa,
- Director, Soakai Motu’apuaka,
- Director, To’imoana Takataka,
- Director, ‘Etuate Sakalia,
- Director, Fakahau Valu.
The Deputy Chairman Mr. Michael Bloomfield and Director Sione Havea Taione were not able to attend the AGM as they were both in overseas on official travel.
PAT Executive Management:
- Mr. ‘Alo Ki-Hakau Maileseni (Acting Chief Executive Officer),
- Mr. Almadin Tukutau (Acting General Manager Corporate Services),
- Capt Hakaumotu Fakapelea (General Manager Marine Services),
- Mr. Halloween Kisina (General Manager Operations),
- Cdr. Brisbane Lokotui (Port Facility Security Officer),
- Mr. Iketau Kaufusi (GM-Infrastructure and Technical Services),
- Mr. ‘Akameta Fe’ao (Manager - Finance and IT).
Ministry of Public Enterprises:
- Mr. Sione ‘Akau’ola (CEO,)
- Ms. Falahola Naidu (Deputy CEO),
- Ms. Lavinia Ika (Deputy CEO).
- Issued by the: Ports Authority Tonga