Spence gets deal in Fijian ports; to invest $ 6 m for 51% stake

Thursday, 2 May 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Aitken Spence Plc has entered into an agreement with Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd., to manage the latter’s cargo handling activities in the Ports of Suva and Lautoka, the country's biggest.

This will be on a concession period of 15 years.

Aitken Spence will acquire a majority (51%) stake in Ports Terminal Ltd., a subsidiary of Fiji Ports Corporation which will manage the operations.

The investment of Fijian Dollars 10.5 million or US$ 6 million (around Rs. 768 million) is subject to approval of the Central Bank and other relevant regulatory authorities.

Fiji Ports Corporation is an entity owned by the Government of the Republic of Fiji.

Aitken Spence’s Cargo Logistics sector comprising freight forwarding, courier services, integrated logistics and maritime transport in FY12 recorded its best performance to date achieving a profit from operations of Rs. 846.8 million, which was a 40.7% growth over the previous year. This profitability was generated from a revenue that grew by 13.9% over the previous year to Rs. 4.7 billion.

The maritime segment enjoyed a growth in profitability of over 80% during the year, recording the highest pre-tax profitability in the company’s history. The segment’s performance was commendable given the immense competitive pressure faced by the global maritime industry.

In the first nine months of 2012/13 financial year, the cargo logistics sector posted a revenue of Rs. 4.85 billion, up from Rs. 4.72 billion whilst profit from operations were down to Rs. 446.5 million, from Rs. 633.5 million in the first nine months of FY12

In the company’s 2011/12 Annual Report, Aitken Spence said the main thrust of the segment’s growth was from the port efficiency enhancement operations in the African continent.

“Aitken Spence is consistently conscious of the opportunities that would develop for organisations with proven expertise, such as Aitken Spence, to become involved in port efficiency enhancement projects in new markets. It is thus pursuing a long-term directional shift from being service-related to becoming an investment-driven operation,” it added. The segment’s port efficiency enhancement and terminal management services company, Port Management Container Services Ltd., was one of the three shortlisted finalists for the Investment in People award at the inaugural Containerisation International Awards held in London in 2011.