ECT’s equity, income climbing

NEW Eastland Community Trust chief executive Gavin Murphy says the region is in an exciting position after the trust announced a $13m rise in equity and a big rise in income.

ECT’s annual report, released this week, says that over the 12-month period ending March 31, the trust boosted total equity to $308.26m.

Income was $12.9m, which was $3.143m ahead of budget.

That 32 percent increase was the result of higher-than-budgeted income from Craig’s investment portfolio, better than expected dividends from Eastland Group, and interest charged to subsidiary companies.

The trust received $8.265 million in dividends and interest from Eastland Group. Combined, that was $500,000 up on the previous year.

The report says a $7.4m investment was made in the previous year to acquire the former Prime sawmill site with a view to developing a wood processing cluster which, when fully-operational, is expected to create up to 120 new jobs and inject $7.7m a year into the regional economy.

ECT last year invested another $4.7m to set up a joint wood processing venture at the site.

Mr Murphy, who began his role as the trust’s first chief executive at the start of the month, said it was exciting to be coming into the role when its major investment, Eastland Group, was performing well and delivering strong returns.
That had, in turn, allowed investment into the community as well as wider “economic enabling opportunities” such as the wood cluster.

“I look forward to being able to convert these economic opportunities into long-term sustainable businesses that can contribute to the region via jobs and GDP growth, and by recycling ECT capital or delivering returns to ECT in a similar manner to Eastland Group.

“Closer alignment of Activate Tairawhiti and ECT will also allow us to ensure economic development activity is undertaken in the most efficient manner and via co-ordinated leadership for the region.”

Bringing together the tourism sector in partnership with tourism operators, GDC and Air New Zealand, would present a great opportunity to further develop and refine the regional model, he said.

“I also look forward to building on the strong relationship with Eastland Group to ensure it is able to continue to serve its customers and deliver returns for the shareholder, and with community groups to ensure they get the benefits of the approach the trust has taken to date, and the financial stewardship of Eastland Group.”

The report notes the trust approved 61 distributions over the year, amounting to a record $4.3m. A total of $3.6m was paid out. It paid out another $2.5m for distributions approved the previous financial year.

A $1.19m distribution from the Prosperous Pool to Activate Tairawhiti’s regional marketing campaign was the single biggest distribution approved, and accounted for almost all of the year’s distributions from that pool.

The Attractive Pool approved five grants worth a combined $1.77m, including $625,000 towards Turanganui a Kiwa Voyaging Trust’s waka hourua programme, along with $200,000 for Connext Trust’s Bikes in Schools programme, $300,000 to Eastland Group for the new Energy Hub, $250,000 for an upgrade of the Ruatoria Ambulance Station and $400,000 to the Whakarua Park Trust Board.

Distributions from the two Positive Pools (minor and major) accounted for a total of $1.4m.

“Our region is one of the most geographically-isolated, and we work hard to spread the benefit of the distributions programme across it,” said trust chairman Michael Muir.

“We have funded a range of organisations, assets and initiatives that will make an impact from one end of our region to the other. It has been satisfying to back groups doing great work.

“We are aware that over the coming 12 to 24 months we will need to consider some major investments in our community. A pleasing financial performance also allows us to prepare for those major projects we know are on the horizon.”

The trust will present its annual report to its annual meeting at 5.30pm next Wednesday at the trust’s offices, 260 Gladstone Road.

NEW Eastland Community Trust chief executive Gavin Murphy says the region is in an exciting position after the trust announced a $13m rise in equity and a big rise in income.

ECT’s annual report, released this week, says that over the 12-month period ending March 31, the trust boosted total equity to $308.26m.

Income was $12.9m, which was $3.143m ahead of budget.

That 32 percent increase was the result of higher-than-budgeted income from Craig’s investment portfolio, better than expected dividends from Eastland Group, and interest charged to subsidiary companies.

The trust received $8.265 million in dividends and interest from Eastland Group. Combined, that was $500,000 up on the previous year.

The report says a $7.4m investment was made in the previous year to acquire the former Prime sawmill site with a view to developing a wood processing cluster which, when fully-operational, is expected to create up to 120 new jobs and inject $7.7m a year into the regional economy.

ECT last year invested another $4.7m to set up a joint wood processing venture at the site.

Mr Murphy, who began his role as the trust’s first chief executive at the start of the month, said it was exciting to be coming into the role when its major investment, Eastland Group, was performing well and delivering strong returns.
That had, in turn, allowed investment into the community as well as wider “economic enabling opportunities” such as the wood cluster.

“I look forward to being able to convert these economic opportunities into long-term sustainable businesses that can contribute to the region via jobs and GDP growth, and by recycling ECT capital or delivering returns to ECT in a similar manner to Eastland Group.

“Closer alignment of Activate Tairawhiti and ECT will also allow us to ensure economic development activity is undertaken in the most efficient manner and via co-ordinated leadership for the region.”

Bringing together the tourism sector in partnership with tourism operators, GDC and Air New Zealand, would present a great opportunity to further develop and refine the regional model, he said.

“I also look forward to building on the strong relationship with Eastland Group to ensure it is able to continue to serve its customers and deliver returns for the shareholder, and with community groups to ensure they get the benefits of the approach the trust has taken to date, and the financial stewardship of Eastland Group.”

The report notes the trust approved 61 distributions over the year, amounting to a record $4.3m. A total of $3.6m was paid out. It paid out another $2.5m for distributions approved the previous financial year.

A $1.19m distribution from the Prosperous Pool to Activate Tairawhiti’s regional marketing campaign was the single biggest distribution approved, and accounted for almost all of the year’s distributions from that pool.

The Attractive Pool approved five grants worth a combined $1.77m, including $625,000 towards Turanganui a Kiwa Voyaging Trust’s waka hourua programme, along with $200,000 for Connext Trust’s Bikes in Schools programme, $300,000 to Eastland Group for the new Energy Hub, $250,000 for an upgrade of the Ruatoria Ambulance Station and $400,000 to the Whakarua Park Trust Board.

Distributions from the two Positive Pools (minor and major) accounted for a total of $1.4m.

“Our region is one of the most geographically-isolated, and we work hard to spread the benefit of the distributions programme across it,” said trust chairman Michael Muir.

“We have funded a range of organisations, assets and initiatives that will make an impact from one end of our region to the other. It has been satisfying to back groups doing great work.

“We are aware that over the coming 12 to 24 months we will need to consider some major investments in our community. A pleasing financial performance also allows us to prepare for those major projects we know are on the horizon.”

The trust will present its annual report to its annual meeting at 5.30pm next Wednesday at the trust’s offices, 260 Gladstone Road.

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