Economy tipped to climb


THIS year’s general election is expected to generate a modest increase in economic activity, according to Steamships Trading Company Limited.
The company in its 2021 annual report stated that there was also cause for some optimism that some of the long-delayed resource extraction projects would achieve meaningful progress.
“The investment and job creation from these projects is essential to the recovery and future development of PNG,” the company said in a statement. “Nevertheless, 2022 is expected to be another challenging year for PNG and Steamships.
“We remain firmly focused on the future and our commitment to the development of the country and people of PNG and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”
According to the report, Steamships’ sales revenue on a continuing basis increased 11 per cent to K563.9 million against last year’s K506.1million, with improved revenue for Coral Sea Hotels (resulting from the requirement for international arrivals to quarantine for up to 14 days) and Consort Express Lines, which offset declines for Pacific Palms Property, East West Transport and Pacific Towing.
Depreciation in 2021 was K93.8 million against K88.3 million in 2020. Interest on net borrowings (excluding capitalised interest) was K4 million against K8.9 million in 2020. Capital expenditure for the year was K89.7 million against K66.7 million in 2020.
The group’s net operating cash flow generation increased 25 per cent to K187.2 million against K149.5 million in 2020. The cash balance at year end was K61.3 million.
A final dividend of 65 toea per share has been proposed and will be paid after the annual general meeting on June 17, 2022, subject to Steamships’ ability to secure foreign exchange for non-PNG shareholders.
As there was an interim dividend paid during the year of 35 toea per share, the total dividend for the year is 100 toea per share (2020: 80 toea per share).