Samoa Land Corporation declares $2.1 million profit

The Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C.) has declared a net profit after tax of $2.1 million at the end of financial year 2018. 

The Corporation's profit is recorded in its Annual Report for 2018 with 50 per cent of the amount being paid to Government as dividend for the year. 

The S.L.C. General Manager, Ulugia Petelo Kavesi, wrote in his report in the annual report that the return on equity ratio of 8 per cent was recorded at the end of the financial period. 

“This is an achievement by the Corporation surpassing the standard rate set under the Public Bodies Act of 7 per cent,” he said. 

Income for the year from the Corporation showed an increase by 41 per cent from $6.65 million tala to $9.37 million tala. 

“This was mainly due to the increase in payments from land sales and leases as a result of aggressive collection approach,” stated Ulugia in his report. 

“The implementation of the recoveries division has also contributed to immense improvement in collection from land debtors and arrears. 

“Income from Faleata golf course and Malifa Lodge on the other hand also increased compared to prior period.” 

Furthermore, Ulugia said the operating expenses dropped by more than 30 per cent from $7.37 million tala to $5.54 million tala in the last financial year compared to the previous year. 

“This is due to mainly to the reduction in administration and operating costs as a result of effective internal controls on spending for the Corporations during the financial year,” he said. 

“Additionally, finance expenses continued to reduce from year to year as a result of prompt payment of the Corporation's term loan with Unit Trust of Samoa.”

In supporting the records, chairman Lavea Lemalu Tupuola Sione Malifa stated that the Corporation generated $9.37 million tala in revenue, which he said was a substantial leap of close to 40 per cent when compared to last year.

“Favourably and remarkably, expenses during the same period plunge to more than 30 percent or nearly $2million tala.

“Our efforts to develop strategic and relevant policies to improve processes in dealing with the allocation and distribution of government land have contributed to this success as income from lands stack up to more than 80 percent of revenue. 

“In addition, the tremendous recovery effort put in place through consultations, meetings, advisory and warnings through letters and advertisements in the media have also assisted prominently towards letters and advertisements in the media have also assisted prominently towards an improved financial year," he added. 

Lavea also made reference to a strategic review of the organizational structure merging two divisions into one downsizing the number of employees from more than 90 to around 80 employees. 

The number of people employed by the Corporation in 2017 was 93 which dropped to 89 for the year 2018. 

Despite the profit and revenue recorded, the Corporation also had some loss. 

According to its financial statement for the year it highlighted “loss from stolen funds in year 2017”. 

The financial report noted a total fund of $50,412 tala was stolen from the safe in or around end of May or early June 2017. 

“Total recoveries including insurance was $35,408 tala resulting in net loss of $15,004,” noted the financial statement. 

In addition, am amount of $23,657 was misappropriated by staff responsible for collecting lease payments from tenants for the markets at Savalalo, Vaitele and Salelologa. The misappropriated amount is for repayments for the year 2017. 

In terms of risks and uncertainties faced by the Corporation, the report noted that staff encountered problems in dealing with villagers upon executing their work. 

“S.L.C. staff encountering issues from Alii & Faipule and some villages especially illegal occupants settling on government land leading to delay in executing of Corporation mandate,” stated the report. 

“However, despite its favourable performance, S.L.C. continues to be faced with numerous challenges when dealing with land issues and markets (i.e. Savalalo, Vaitele and Salelologa). 

“Land is a very delicate issue and it takes times to negotiate with village communities as they believe its their land taken over during the colonial era and should return to them for free. 

“This is the reason behind the continued accumulation of arrears, with village people refusing to pay."

As for collection of revenue surfaced by employees receiving the repayments, the Corporation is closely monitoring the problem by their Internal Auditor.  

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