SAMOA SHIPPING LIFTED PROFIT, SAYS LATEST REPORT

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APIA, Samoa (March 26, 2002 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---Samoa Shipping Corporation made an accumulated profit of ST$ 1,899,138 in 2000 compared to ST$ 357,992 in 1999, its just-tabled report says.

[NOTE: ST$ 1.00 = US$ 0.284414 on March 26, 2002]

The report by the former general manager, Oloiali'i Koki Tuala, was tabled in Parliament with Samoa Shipping Corporation's financial accounts.

The government-owned corporation mainly operates ferry services to neighboring American Samoa and between Samoa's main islands.

This was the "second consecutive year and the second time the company has achieved an accumulated profit in its 26-year history," the report says.

It says this was notable because of the increasing cost of fuel and exchange losses caused by the strength of the American dollar.

The report says the price of diesel alone increased six times in 2000.

In the beginning of the year the price of diesel per liter was ST$1.0873 and at the end-December 2000 it was ST$1.4458, the report says.

The average increase in 12 months was 32.9%.

The company paid a ST$ 250,000 dividend out of 1999 profits to the Government of Samoa in May 2000. But the directors did not recommend any dividends for the year 2000, because of the commitment to future development and the continued increase in operating costs, the report says.

The report says the company did not increase fares and freight charges despite rising costs, as it did not want to penalize local travelers who depend on its services.

For additional reports from the Samoa Observer, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa Observer.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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