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Oldest diversified company in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, February 27, 2009) – Steamships Trading Company Limited yesterday reported a net profit of PGK90,226,000 [US$34.2 million] for 2008 — PGK16 million [US$6 million] more than the previous year.

Papua New Guinea’s oldest diversified trading company made a profit of K74,157,000 [US$28 million] in 2007

Sales of K465.8 million increased by 14.5 per cent against 2007 sales of K406.8 million, the Steamships board of directors said in its final report to the Port Moresby Stock Exchange.

Depreciation in 2008 was K39,316,000 against K35,608,000 in 2007 and interest on borrowings was K4,654,000 against K1,761,000 in 2007.

Capital expenditure for the 12 months was K133,657,000 against K77, 732,000 in 2007.

The board said the result reflected the continuing improvement in trading performance from most businesses within the Steamships Group. It said the company’s shipping and hotels divisions continued to record strong results throughout the year, driven by increased demand for coastal and international shipping services and short-term serviced accommodation.

The demand for commercial, industrial and long term residential accommodation determined favourable results for the property division and reinforced decisions to embark on a number of substantial building projects, it said.

The board said the manufacturing division also had a successful year despite the fluctuating cost of commodities and ingredients.

It said the overall results included the sale of the hardware division in November 2008.

"The PNG economy once again proved stable which allowed the group to continue to invest with confidence in new projects and assets, particularly in the shipping, property, transport and hotel divisions. This is reflected in the 2008 capital expenditure figures," the board said.

"Given the global financial concerns, the group relies on stringent financial risk mitigation practices and comprehensive performance monitoring to ensure a track record of sound commercially viable investment is maintained.

"These long term investments are crucial to the growth of the company and provide future opportunities for all the stake holders."

The board said a final dividend of 86 toea per share, absorbing K26,667,084, will be paid on May 19 this year. This would bring the total dividend for the year to K1.46 per share.

The company paid a final dividend of 75 toea per share in 2007.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:


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