As per the media report Maori-owned Aotearoa Fisheries, half-owner of Sealord, registered an annual profit of $18.9 million and paid its first dividend to shareholders after a six-year grace period. The company declared a total dividend of $9.4m, which meant a cash payment to iwi shareholders, after Maori authority tax credits, of $7.5m or 40 percent of the year’s profit.
Chairman Robin Hapi said that the result is credible after 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. Aotearoa Fisheries was established in 2004 and manages commercial fishing assets on behalf of Maori, including inshore fishing businesses Moana Pacific and OPC, paua exporter Prepared Foods, and oyster producers Kia Ora Seafoods and Pacific Marine Farms.
The information also revealed that the Aotearoa Fisheries was given six years to reinvest all profits in the business before dividends were to be paid to iwi, who had been extremely patient. Hapi told that the company has had six years’ grace in which it has been able to grow AFL significantly.