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Steamships Posts K789 Million Profit

by PNG Business News - April 08, 2021

For the fiscal year 2020, Steamships Trading Company posted a profit of K78.9 million.

This represents a 57.7% increase from the company's financial year 2019 figures.

Consort's better efficiency, along with small contributions from the other logistics companies, helped to offset a loss in Coral Sea Hotels and a weaker outcome for Pacific Palms Property, resulting in the results.

The underlying results (before major items) improved by 17.2 per cent in 2019.

Chairman G.L Cundle said that, despite the negative effects of COVID, 2020 saw a moderate boost in the group's results, despite the anticipated gains from the APEC Leaders summit not materializing, resource project developments stalling, and a change in government increasing instability.

Cundle said the Office of the Prime Minister proclaimed a State of Emergency in Papua New Guinea a year ago because of the global COVID-19 virus pandemic, but the country is now suffering from the virus's effects.

Although increased regulatory controls and a decline in demand for goods and services have undoubtedly had an impact on companies, he believes Steamships is well placed to resolve the difficulties raised by the pandemic.

“The impact of the pandemic was mostly experienced by the hospitality sector, where Steamships hotel group, Coral Sea Hotels, was immediately and deeply impacted by border closures and restrictions on domestic travel,” he said. “Our logistics businesses quickly adjusted to the new operating constraints caused by the pandemic, and whilst all were impacted, the feared worst-case scenarios have not transpired. Property occupancy and rates have suffered as expatriates have left the country as business and aid agencies scaled back their operations. The impact of reduced occupancy and rental rates may impact the property market for several years.”

According to Cundle, a growing budget deficit, which limits the government's ability to stimulate the economy, together with a lack of new resource ventures, would possibly weaken corporate expenditure trust in 2021.

Steamships' companies continued to adapt rapidly in 2020, despite the twin pressures of a poor underlying market and the global ramifications of COVID-19, he added.

“Management will remain vigilant in managing costs while being responsive to opportunities created by challenging market conditions,” he said, “As ever, and with PNG being both our home and only substantive place of business, Steamships will continue to contribute and participate in PNG’s economic and social development. We are well-positioned for recovery and our team will continue to grow Steamships and its contribution to PNG.”

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