Jan 17, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Aotearoa Fisheries accomplishes first dividend

2 min read

Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (AFL) this week revealed a 2010 profit of NZD 18.9 million (USD 14 million) and has paid the first dividend in cash to its Iwi shareholders after a grace period of six years despite “exceptionally difficult” conditions this year.

The Maori-owned company – also half-owner of Sealord – announced a total dividend of NZD 9.4 million (USD 6.98 million) after Maori authority tax credits of NZD 7.5 million (USD 5.6 million).

“The dividend represents 40 per cent of the profit for the year and NZD 60.38 (USD 44.86) per share,” Aotearoa Fisheries Chairman Robin Hapi said, Voxy News reports. ”AFL had delivered a satisfactory financial performance for the year with a profit of NZD 18.9 million (USD 14 million).

“This is a credible result given the continuing effects of the global recession and an exceptionally difficult trading year for Sealord, and has allowed us to pay a substantial maiden dividend,” he added.

Aotearoa manages commercial fishing assets on behalf of Maori, such as inshore fishing firms Moana Pacific and OPC and paua exporter Prepared Foods, as well as oyster producers Kia Ora Seafoods and Pacific Marine Farms, reports NZPA.

Abalone processing. (Photo: Aotearoa Fisheries)

AFL was founded in 2004 when the process to settle fisheries claims between Maori and the Crown was finalised.

When it was founded, Iwi granted the firm six years to reinvest all profits in the business and allow the company to grow robustly before dividends were to be paid to iwi, who, Hapi noted, have shown tremendous patience.

“They have been extremely patient and at the same time positive in supporting our efforts to grow the business. We’ve had six years’ grace in which we have been able to grow AFL significantly,” he added.

The chairman commented that the first dividend signified an important accomplishment for Aotearoa. He also recognised the efforts made by many over several years to guarantee a long-lasting settlement and return on the investment that Iwi have in the fisheries industry.

The vision of AFL, the largest Maori-owned fisheries firm in Aotearoa/New Zealand, is to be the key investment medium of choice for Iwi in the industry, to maximise the value of Maori fisheries assets and to make sure it remains a sturdy seafood business that delivers growth to Iwi in shareholder wealth.

AFL consists of a 50 per cent shareholding in Sealord and Prepared Foods Ltd, and 100 per cent ownership of Moana Pacific Fisheries, Chatham Processing, Pacific Marine Farms and Prepared Foods Processing.

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