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PNG’S STEAMSHIPS TRADING POSTS $35 MILLION PROFIT Conglomerate operates a wide range of businesses

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 3, 2010) – Steamships Trading Co Ltd (STCL) posted a profit (after tax and minority interests) of PGK96.6 million [US$35.1 million] for the period ending December 2009.

The directors in their report to the stock exchange revealed the profit, up 7 percent from PGK90.2 million in 2008, on the back of healthy performance by businesses within the Steamships group especially the hotels and property division.

This figure includes Steamships’ equity-accounted share of associates’ results.

Revenues were PGK496.0 million [US$180 million], up 7.1 percent compared to 2008 result of PGK463.0 million.

[PIR editor’s note: Steamships Trading Company is a major conglomerate that has operated in Papua New Guinea for more than 90 years. The company, which has more tha 2,000 employees, has interests in Shipping, Road Transport, Product Manufacture, Property, Hotels and Information Technology.]

Depreciation in 2009 was PGK47.9 million compared to PGK39.3 million in the previous year, and interest on borrowings was PGK12.2 million against PGK4.7 million in 2008.

Capital expenditure for the year was PGK195.4 million against PGK133.7 million in 2008.

"The result reflects the continuing improvement in trading performance from businesses within the Group.

Notably, the hotels and property divisions recorded healthy results against budget expectations.

"This is largely driven by increased demand for short-term stays and conferencing. "Room and facility expansion at the Gateway and Ela Beach Hotels together with the construction of the new 166-room Grand Papua Hotel, in Port Moresby, ensures the divisions’ position as a leading hospitality service provider."

The board said demand for high quality commercial, industrial and residential accommodation drove favorable results for the property division and reinforced investment decisions to commence property development programs.

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