Government body profits dip by $11 million

State-owned enterprises and public bodies registered a steep decline in profits of more than one-third last Financial Year or an amount equal to more than $10 million.

The new figures are contained within the annual report for the Ministry of Public Enterprises' annual report for the 2018-19 Financial Year. 

The total amount of profit generated by the bodies for the past financial year was $19.9 million dollars. This compares to $31.5 million the year prior. 

Among the nation's public enterprises, the Electric Power Corporation recorded the highest profit for the Financial Year, a total of more than $11.5 or a jump of more than $5.1 million

The Samoa Port Authority was the second-most profitable public body after generating $8.6 million in earnings. 

But the country's least-profitable body was Samoa Airways, which ran at an operating loss of $21 million. The decline came despite a substantial increase to the airline's revenues over the Financial Year to $93 million from $48 million. The airline's expenses amounted to $114 million. 

Last year, the Minister for Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, told the Samoa Observer, that Samoa Airways remains "nowhere near" profitability. He forecast five consecutive years of financial losses. 

“The public needs to understand that the situation [is like] the operation of any new company," the "We are nowhere near running a profitable operation yet. That is the nature of any newly established airline."

At the time Lautafi noted the entire global airline industry has been hit hard by the March global grounding of Boeing Max aircraft last March, forcing the airline into a "wet lease" with Indonesian carrier Malindo which has just been temporarily extended. 

The Land and Transport Authority, by contrast, turned its financial position around with profits of $6.5 million last Financial Year compared to a loss of $1.4 previous. 

Airport Authority profits reached $5.1 million, while the Samoa Land Corporation was also in positive territory to the amount of $4.05 million. 

Overall public sector revenues totaled $409 million for the Financial Year, an increase from $328 million the year before. 

The E.P.C. made the largest single contribution to revenue growth, an increase of $119 million. 

The L.T.A. also collected $42 million in revenues, a rise from $36 million. 

Public bodies overseen by the M.P.E. include: the Development Bank of Samoa; the Electric Power Corporation; the Gambling Control Authority; the Land Transport Authority; Polynesian Airlines Ltd. (Samoa Airways' parent company); the Public Trust Office; the Samoa Airport Authority; the Samoa Housing Corporation and the Samoa International Finance Authority. 

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