Eastland Group returns record profit this year

Group assets now $547m

Group assets now $547m

EASTLAND Group has announced a record profit of $17.6 million for the 2017-2018 financial year, which is described as the “most successful in its history”.

The previous record profit was $15.2m, achieved in 2016.

Income totalled $84.7m, another record, up from $76.2m in 2016-2017 when the group earned a $14.8m profit.

A record $10.1m was returned to sole shareholder Eastland Community Trust (ECT), made up of a dividend of $8m and interest on shareholder capital notes of $2.1m.

Group assets are now worth $547.3m.

“When Eastland Port was bought by our shareholder and joined Eastland Network as part of Eastland Group, we had $80 million in assets,’’ said Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd

“In 2018, our long-term strategy of asset expansion and diversification means our assets are worth $547.3 million.

“These are assets that are working hard and generating cash flows that will be used for the benefit of the Tairawhiti region.

“Eastland Port shifted three million tonnes of cargo, “exceeding all forecasts, despite constraints on ship berths and storage space”.

The port is “the most efficient and second-largest log export port in the country”.

Gisborne Airport saw continued growth with nearly 171,000 passenger movements, up from last year’s 156,000.

Eastland Network had “a solid year” and delivered a slight increase in volumes and earnings.

‘‘Despite the challenges caused by several damaging storms, they achieved full compliance with price-quality regulations.

“Their long-term solar trial continues, as they explore the opportunities offered by emerging technologies and prepare to future-proof the region’s power supply.”

Construction of the new Te Ahi O Maui geothermal plant near Kawerau progressed during the year and is now nearing completion.

“This is the first geothermal power plant built under new health and safety legislation, and over 250,000 man-hours were worked on-site without a single lost- time injury,” said Mr Todd.

The plant, once operational, will generate around 25mW of clean, green energy and will “deliver strong returns for decades to come to the people of Tairawhiti”.

Eastland Group’s capital investment in Tairawhiti was $30.8 million.

There are plans to invest over $200 million in local infrastructure during the next five years.

“These investments are necessary, to maintain existing assets as well as providing new capability that will enable the regional economy to continue to grow.”

Planned expenditure includes maintaining and upgrading the electricity network, and unlocking the potential at Eastland Port to allow a predicted five million tonnes of wood a year.

“With Te Ahi O Maui coming on stream, Eastland Network delivering reliable power to the region, and Eastland Group’s increased shareholding in innovative Flick Electric Co, our involvement with the energy sector encompasses generation, transmission, distribution and retail,” said Mr Todd.

“This sector is undergoing seismic changes.

“Eastland Group is exploring new business opportunities and looking after our region’s interests.

“We also look forward to beginning the long-awaited Gisborne Airport terminal redevelopment.

“This will offer an iconic welcome to Tairawhiti, and the chance to share our region’s unique stories, Mr Todd said.”

Tony Gray stepped in as interim chairman after Nelson Cull stepped down in 2017 after eight years in the role.

Late in 2017, Keith Sutton and Fiona Mules were appointed to the board, with Mr Sutton becoming chairman in February 2018.

EASTLAND Group has announced a record profit of $17.6 million for the 2017-2018 financial year, which is described as the “most successful in its history”.

The previous record profit was $15.2m, achieved in 2016.

Income totalled $84.7m, another record, up from $76.2m in 2016-2017 when the group earned a $14.8m profit.

A record $10.1m was returned to sole shareholder Eastland Community Trust (ECT), made up of a dividend of $8m and interest on shareholder capital notes of $2.1m.

Group assets are now worth $547.3m.

“When Eastland Port was bought by our shareholder and joined Eastland Network as part of Eastland Group, we had $80 million in assets,’’ said Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd

“In 2018, our long-term strategy of asset expansion and diversification means our assets are worth $547.3 million.

“These are assets that are working hard and generating cash flows that will be used for the benefit of the Tairawhiti region.

“Eastland Port shifted three million tonnes of cargo, “exceeding all forecasts, despite constraints on ship berths and storage space”.

The port is “the most efficient and second-largest log export port in the country”.

Gisborne Airport saw continued growth with nearly 171,000 passenger movements, up from last year’s 156,000.

Eastland Network had “a solid year” and delivered a slight increase in volumes and earnings.

‘‘Despite the challenges caused by several damaging storms, they achieved full compliance with price-quality regulations.

“Their long-term solar trial continues, as they explore the opportunities offered by emerging technologies and prepare to future-proof the region’s power supply.”

Construction of the new Te Ahi O Maui geothermal plant near Kawerau progressed during the year and is now nearing completion.

“This is the first geothermal power plant built under new health and safety legislation, and over 250,000 man-hours were worked on-site without a single lost- time injury,” said Mr Todd.

The plant, once operational, will generate around 25mW of clean, green energy and will “deliver strong returns for decades to come to the people of Tairawhiti”.

Eastland Group’s capital investment in Tairawhiti was $30.8 million.

There are plans to invest over $200 million in local infrastructure during the next five years.

“These investments are necessary, to maintain existing assets as well as providing new capability that will enable the regional economy to continue to grow.”

Planned expenditure includes maintaining and upgrading the electricity network, and unlocking the potential at Eastland Port to allow a predicted five million tonnes of wood a year.

“With Te Ahi O Maui coming on stream, Eastland Network delivering reliable power to the region, and Eastland Group’s increased shareholding in innovative Flick Electric Co, our involvement with the energy sector encompasses generation, transmission, distribution and retail,” said Mr Todd.

“This sector is undergoing seismic changes.

“Eastland Group is exploring new business opportunities and looking after our region’s interests.

“We also look forward to beginning the long-awaited Gisborne Airport terminal redevelopment.

“This will offer an iconic welcome to Tairawhiti, and the chance to share our region’s unique stories, Mr Todd said.”

Tony Gray stepped in as interim chairman after Nelson Cull stepped down in 2017 after eight years in the role.

Late in 2017, Keith Sutton and Fiona Mules were appointed to the board, with Mr Sutton becoming chairman in February 2018.

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