Port landlord challenges

The Kings Wharf in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU/FILE

CONSTRAINTS of scale and isolation with the attendant, cascading effects of larger container vessels and cruise ships visiting Fiji’s ports, are some of the challenges specific to the Fiji Ports and Corporation Ltd as the landlord port of a small island nation.

FPCL chairman and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali said the international marketplace continued to be as competitive as ever.

In his message as the chairman in the FPCL 2017 annual report, Mr Ali said the board recognised that FPCL would always be challenged by shifting global economic trends and changes within the industry such as the need to adopt technological and operational innovations for greater energy efficiency and economic competitiveness.

He said the company remained committed to yielding a solid financial return, while continuing to provide better services.

“The group’s balance sheet remains strong, with a sound cash balance of $27 million and zero external borrowings and the group holds $22m in term deposits,” he said.

“This year being the fourth full year of operations after the 2013 partial divestment of shares and transfer of the control of, previously subsidiary, now associate company, FPTL, the financial performance for the Fiji Ports Group 2017 reflects a consistent and resilient outcome,” he said.

Mr Ali said the group net profit after tax of $26.35m represented a 0.3 per cent increase over the reported profit of $26.26m, attributed to the increase in vessel numbers and cargo throughout, including the prudent cost control by management.

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