The Fiji Government received it’s highest ever dividend payment from the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, after recording a 30 per cent increase in net profit in 2012.
Attorney General and Minister for Public Enterprise, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum received a cheque of $3.65-million on behalf of the Government from the the public owned company.
The profit recorded was attributed to the strong performances by the two subsidiary companies of Fiji Ports – Ports Terminal Limited and Fiji Ships and Heavy Industries. PTL’s revenue rose by 17 per cent while FSHIL recorded 12 per cent growth.
The increases come on the back of a big increase in the number of ships visiting Fijian ports last year. A record 1,530 foreign going vessels – 700 of them carrying cargo – called at the two biggest ports in Suva and Lautoka.
In accepting the dividend payment on behalf of the Government, the Minister paid tribute to the Board, management and staff of Fiji Ports Corporation and predicted even healthier profits to come.
Highlighting the Government’s joint venture partnership with the Aitken Spence company of Sri Lanka, the Minister said Fiji was finally in a position to capitalise on its position as the hub of the South Pacific, which had been promised by successive governments but never delivered.
He said the necessary discipline had now been put in place through the private public partnership to remove unnecessary overhead costs for shipping companies and achieve better turnaround times and higher volumes in the ports of Suva and Lautoka.