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Careful growth strategy leads to first AFL dividend

Careful growth strategy leads to first AFL dividend

Maori-owned Aotearoa Fisheries (AFL) has paid its first dividend to its iwi shareholders after posting an $18.9M profit; despite difficult trading conditions in the last year.

Established in 2004, at the conclusion of the process to settle fisheries claims between Maori and the Crown, AFL manages a stable of commercial assets on behalf of Maori, including inshore fishing businesses Moana Pacific and OPC, paua exporter Prepared Foods and leading oyster producers Kia Ora Seafoods and Pacific Marine Farms. It also holds a 50-percent share in Sealord.

At the time it was established AFL was given six years to reinvest all profits back into the business to allow a strong growth strategy to be implemented before dividends were to be paid to iwi.

AFL Chairman Robin Hapi said today that they had declared a total dividend of $9.4 million, resulting in a cash payment, after Maori authority tax credits, to our iwi shareholders of $7.5M.

“The dividend represents 40-percent of the profit for the year and $60.38 per share,” Mr Hapi said.

“AFL had delivered a satisfactory financial performance for the year with a profit of $18.9M.

“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 said.

Mr Hapi said he would like to acknowledge AFL’s iwi shareholders.

“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 said.

Mr Hapi said the first dividend marked a significant achievement for the company and recognised the efforts that many people have made over many years to ensure a durable settlement and return on the investment that all iwi have in this industry.

Ends

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