Fiji Airports declares $45m dividend to Government

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy and Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum receives the dividend cheque from Fiji Airports Ltd board member Ratu Wiliame Katonivere (left) and executive chairman Faiz Khan in Suva today. Picture: RAMA

FIJI Airports Ltd today handed over $45 million in dividends to Government for its 2017 financial year, the highest ever paid by a state owned enterprise.

The recently rebranded organisation raked in a high audited profit before tax of $80.2m for the financial year ending 2017.

Fiji Airports executive chairman Faiz Khan along with board member Ratu Wiliame Katonivere handed over the dividend cheque to Attorney-General, Minister for Economy and Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Suva.

According to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji Airports has grown in leaps and bounds over the last five years reaching unprecedented levels of dividend payments.

“In many ways Fiji Airports has become a model state owned enterprise. It’s profitability has grown by a 1,000 per cent or tenfold in the last five years, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said,

“We’ve combined the amount of dividend that AFL has paid to us in the past four to five years, its been more than what AFL has paid since its entire inception”

Last year, Fiji Airports formerly known as Airports Fiji Ltd also paid Government $45m dividends, which is higher than the $30m record dividend it declared in 2016.

Mr Khan said with the $45m dividend payout, the organisation had paid a total of $145 million in dividends to its shareholder over the past five years.

“By comparison Fiji Airports had paid $14.91 million in dividends in its entire history prior to that,” he said.

“The significance of this must be put into context with the fact that over the past five years, Fiji Airports has undertaken some of the most major capital infrastructure upgrades in its history.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that these were exciting times for Fiji Airports with its capital upgrades, recognitions and accolades.

He also acknowledged the “unrelenting and unwavering commitment” of Mr Khan and staff members of Fiji Airports.

“It’s directional for many other state-owned enterprises to follow the lead of AFL, if AFL can do it, of course the others can do it also,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added.