PFL Presents Government with $12 Million Tala Dividend

Lautimuia extended his thanks to the Directors and CEO for their hard work and accomplishments, noting that it did not take days or weeks but years to bear fruit.

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By: Jasmine Netzler-Iose, Government Press. After more than 10 years without a dividend to the Government of Samoa, the Pacific Forum Line (PFL) Limited has finally reaped what it has worked so hard since 2014 to make a reality.

Last week the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure and Minister for PFL, Olo Fiti Afoa Vaai, presented a dividend of $12 million tala to the Minister of Finance Lautimuia Afoa Uelese Vaai in a small hand-over ceremony in his offices at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi (TATTE) Building at Sogi.

The Minister expressed his appreciation and thanks to the Chairman of the Board of Directors Tupuola Oloialii Koki Tuala and Director Sala Faumuina Toomata Theodore Toalepa for their tireless efforts over the years that has finally bear fruit.

He also acknowledged PFL’s General Manager Teuila Eteuati and Staff of the company for their contribution to this achievement.

The Minister said that there have been many times they (GM) have consulted and none of those ideas and plans could have been actioned without the staff that work hard to implement it.

Before advising the Minister of Finance to ensure that these funds are used wisely for the benefit of the country and her people.

Lautimuia extended his thanks to the Directors and CEO for their hard work and accomplishments.

Noting that it did not take days or weeks but years to bear fruit.

And guaranteed that PFL’s contribution to the economy of Samoa will be managed wisely.

This dividend was sourced from the total net profit before tax from the years 2015 to 2020.

Chairman of PFLL Tupuola revealed to the media that the dividend was late to be handed in for several reasons the scope of the company not just locally but also due to COVID 19.

He also pointed out that they are currently awaiting the audit of 2021-2023 and once that is finalised they will also present the next dividend.

In a joint release from Tupuola and Director Sala Faumuina Toomata Theodore S Toalepai they acknowledge that the company faced numerous disasters in the past.

Including the major one encountered immediately after purchasing the vessel Forum Samoa II in August 2009 which ran aground in Apia harbour during its augural voyage on 29th August 2009.

“PFLL’s operation was insolvent and NO shareholder or Forum Island country wanted to invest in PFLL at the time except [the] Government of Samoa.”

Samoa is the Home of Taula. Enjoy responsibly.

As such, the appropriate Theme of the PFLL project that was chosen by the Board of Directors is from the Holy Bible of God in Pslam 118, verse 22 stating that “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.”

And PFLL was that stone that was rejected by many, now it is one of the most successful projects by Government and the Board of Directors is committed to further develop the company for the long term economic growth of Samoa and the Pacific region.

“The current FAST Government will ensure the PFLL/Neptune will continue to service all customers in Samoa and the Pacific region with better and improved shipping services in the future.”

PACIFIC FORUM LINE GROUP LIMITED (PFLGL)

PFLL was set up by the South Pacific Forum (SPF) members in 1978 incorporated and registered in Samoa. Samoa was a founding member and shareholder of PFLL since that year.

A release from the company stated that the founding members and shareholders of PFLL set up the initial legal objectives and vision for PFLL, its core activities and functions were: the provision of reliable, frequent and visible shipping services with affordable freight rates for the Pacific region.

In September 2012, the Government of Samoa purchased 100 per cent shares of the company with the same objectives and vision for the economic growth of Samoa and the Pacific region.

Government set objectives for PFLL Board of Directors at that time to make happen including to operate the company efficiently and profitably for the economic growth of Samoa and operate PFLL without government funding and return dividends to government and to repay the Forum Samoa II loan from future dividends.

“The current FAST Government has continued the vision set by our founding fathers and has strengthen[ed] the commitment in developing PFLL as the leading shipping company in the Pacific region.”

That 2012 investment by the Government was NZD$3.16million dollars (SAT5.38million tala) including the purchase of all shares of the company, the settlement of outstanding dividends to former shareholders and working capital for the company.

The PFLL was established and registered Pacific Forum Line Group Limited (PFLGL) in Vanuatu in 2014.

PFLL sold 50 per cent shares of the company, PFLG to Neptune Pacific Line Limited for NZD$1.50million and form a 50 /50 per cent joint venture company solely for operating PFLL shipping services.

The company’s 10th Anniversary marking its 50/50 per cent joint venture with Neptune Pacific Line Limited in 2014 happens this October 01st 2024.