News In Brief20 June 2021 ↓
STEAMSHIPS ENTERS LOGISTICS PARTNERSHIP WITH E-COMMERCE PLATFORM SHOPSMARTSteamships Trading Company has announced a new agreement with Emstret Space, a locally owned hub for SMEs that plays a vital role in influencing the growth and development of many SMEs around PNG. Under the agreement, Steamships will provide heavily subsidized transport and logistics services to Emstret through its subsidiaries East West Transport and Consort Express Lines. SMEs within Emstret’s Shopsmart online marketplace will have the opportunity to transport goods and equipment all over PNG through Steamships’ trucking and shipping network, reaching a wider market. “E-Commerce is an exciting new initiative for SMEs in PNG, providing a much larger marketplace.” says Alfred Weston, Business Development Manager at Steamships, “However, it also presents a much larger logistics challenge to move goods between sellers and buyers. This is one area where Steamships’ can offer support”. Emstret Founder and Director, Vani Nades says, “The aim of Emstret Space is to create an inclusive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, allowing them to connect, collaborate and grow. Whilst the pandemic had many negative effects, it also challenged communities like ours to think outside the box. Shopsmart PNG is the future of e-commerce in Papua New Guinea and will ensure that SMEs continue to grow during these trying times” she added. “The future is promising because of this partnership with Steamships Trading Company, our vendors will be at ease knowing that their products will reach its destination through Steamships’ extensive logistics network”. 03 June 2021 ↓
Steamships supports Caritas technical School Nutrition Program
Steamships and Goodman Fielder have come on board to support Caritas Technical College’s Nutrition Program.
The current pandemic and its engulfing effect have not spared schools in Papua New Guinea including Caritas Technical School.
One assessment and survey conducted by the National Department of Education, Save the Children and UNICEF have highlighted the adverse effect Covid has had on education and schools in the country.
According to Sr Mazarrello, the school’s Director, the Nutrition Program was on the verge of closing because of covid. “The National School Health Policy of 2015” encourages good nutrition in schools. We are determined to provide quality education and good nutrition to enable the students to perform better in school. We are grateful of the support from steamships and Goodman Fielder”.
Steamships and Goodman Fielder were invited to the school on Thursday 3rd June to announce the partnership in front of teachers and the students.
Steamships Corporate Affairs General Manager David Toua said that good nutrition throughout life played a significant role and promoted a healthy outcome for growth and development for young people in education.
“We congratulate Cartias Technical College and thank Steamships for this program and the opportunity to partner. In addition to the nutritional support, we are also providing work experience opportunities for five students to help prepare them for when they get out in the workforce after their studies. Assisting the students and the school communities during the pandemic is important,” said Anell Ovia, Goodman Fielder’s Human Resource Manager.
Sister Mazarello hopes that the Nutrition Program will assist parents as well as students in the school.11 February 2021 ↓
Steamships accords the MD Excellence award to a graduate architect.
The 2020 Steamships Managing Director’s Award for Excellence has been given to Vanessa Kagena, a Graduate Architect with Pacific Palms Property (PPP). Joining PPP in 2019, straight out of university, Vanessa has built up an impressive resume of achievements in a very short space of time. Vanessa oversaw the design process for the Harbourside shade, deck and pirate ship that helped transform the precinct and assisted with the refurbished new look for the Beachside food and beverage outlets at Ela Beach Hotel, creating a significant prospect for the city. More importantly Vanessa has taken a lead role in the exterior design of the rehabilitation of Burns House into @345 with her impressive images and perspectives formally depicted in a Steamships/PPP advertisement in the newspaper in November. Board and senior management presentations, both internal and external have utilized here work-designs for development projects as well. Vanessa’s work has meant that Steamships has avoided expensive external architectural fees and proven that not only do we have strong design capabilities in the country, but also, we have an extremely capable female Papua New Guinean with a huge amount of potential working for Steamships. Vanessa’s design skills and hardworking ethic have made her stand out as a star who performs excellently and has a huge amount of potential. She has seamlessly stepped up to manage the ongoing development projects while some key project managers are out of country, further highlighting that she has many strings to her bow. This prestigious employee award serves to recognize employees performing exceptionally beyond their duties and responsibilities to improve the results and reputation of our business and workforce. Vanessa is the second recipient of the award in Steamships; the first being Ms. Alma-Jean Urakowi in 2019 Joint Venture Port Services.16 June 2020 ↓
Mortlock Island receives support from Steamships Community Grants Programme
Mortlock, an atoll island located 250 km north east of Kieta and inhabited by more than 600 people, has received funding from the Steamships Community Grants Programme.
Engulfed with issues of rising sea level and relocation, the islanders are not sitting around waiting to be noticed.
Supported by the Steamships Community Grants Programme, Mortlock Islanders will soon be constructing their aid post after 15 years.
The Mortlock Takuu Island Climate Change Association (MTICCA) President, David Marena was excited to hear that their project application was successful.
The Aid Post which will be built at a cost of K110, 000 will service the islands more than 600 population.
According to David Marena, materials were purchased in Rabaul and then shipped to Kuta wharf on Buka awaiting their final destination to Mortlock Island. Much of the work was delayed due to the current pandemic experienced by the world and completion is expected before the end of the year.
“I’m grateful to the Steamships Community Grants Programme for providing an opportunity for us to improve our health services on the island. After almost 15 years we are on our way to building our aid post,” remarked David.
The Steamships Community Grants Programme considers applications from Papua New Guinean registered charities to fund community based initiatives focusing on health, education and social welfare.
The programme has impacted communities in many ways by improving access to early learning, access to clean water and sanitation, providing teaching materials and training, creating training for health based community workers as well as providing facilities.
According to David Marena, “we have had various support from aid agencies in the past to build community infrastructures such as classrooms, teacher’s accommodation and a library. The island at most times remains completely cut off from Bougainville, the country and the rest of the world due to poor communication infrastructures and lack of efficient sea transport available.”
A properly functioning aid post building is very crucial and important to service the community. The island has been without an aid post for more than a decade, since it was hit by king tides in 2010.
“One of the primary purposes of the Community Grants Programme is to identify projects and initiatives that will bring positive change and benefit to Papua New Guineans. It’s great that Steamships has this opportunity to support MTICCA NGO to deliver a service that aims at improving health services on a remote island community.”, remarked David Toua, Steamships General Manager for Corporate Affairs.
Steamships records an increase in sales revenue in 2019
2019 was a difficult year for PNG after the euphoria of hosting the APEC summit in late in 2018. The economy remained weak in the absence of any progress on the much-needed investment in the resource sector and the uncertainty caused by the change of Government in May 2019 and the consequent significant readjustment of national debt further dampened sentiment. The National Budget presented in November 2019 projects 2020 will record the largest expenditure and budget deficit in PNG’s history. The ongoing shortage of foreign currency in PNG continues to suppress economic activity.
Continued budget support from multilateral agencies will be essential and likely to entail economic reforms that will impair economic activity in the short term. 2019 was a challenging year for the private sector as a whole and Steamships diverse business activities being closely integrated to the domestic economy were not immune to the negative impacts of the slowdown. Steamships’ sales revenue increased 4.3% to K585.1 million against last year’s K560.8 million, on a continuing basis with improved revenue for Consort offsetting declines for Pacific Palms Property and Coral Sea Hotels.
Depreciation in 2019 was K82.3 million against K83 million in 2018, and interest on borrowings (excluding capitalised interest) was K9.8 million against K10.3 million in 2018. Capital expenditure for the year was K93 million (with capitalised interest of K1.0 million) against K56.1 million (with capitalised interest of K1.7 million) in 2018.
The group’s net operating cash flow generation declined 9.7% to K105.4 million against K116.7 million in 2018. The cash balance at year end is K100.8m. A final dividend of 55 toea per share has been proposed and will be paid following approval at the company’s annual general meeting on the 17th of June 2020, subject to Steamships’ ability to secure foreign exchange for non PNG shareholders. This brings the total dividend for the year to 80 toea per share (2018 = 165 toea per share). The dividend is unfranked and there is no conduit foreign income.
The gain on sale of properties is principally attributable to the sale of a plot of land in Port Moresby by the Company to an associated company, Harbourside Developments Ltd, being the site for the new mixed-use development Harbourside South.
Consort Express Lines embarked on a significant turnaround programme in 2019 in the face of a highly competitive and depressed coastal liner and projects shipping market. This has started to show results with improved fleet and schedule reliability and customer service. New systems and management have been introduced and Consort’s results are improving. While investment in the resource sector remains weak, the focus is on the liner service with opportunities for projects and charter work, hopefully forthcoming later in 2020.
The Joint Venture Port Services businesses had a steady performance in 2019, recovering from the loss of the International Terminal Operator concessions in Port Moresby and Lae in 2018. JVPS now manages stevedoring and handling in 10 ports around PNG as well as an equipment hire business, providing a vital, safe and efficient operation for these communities, whilst providing an economic return to the local community shareholders.
East West Transport continues to grow its fleet and range of services in a steady profitable manner, winning some key new business in 2019 and maintaining a strong customer and fleet reliability focus. Pacific Towing experienced a modest year in its principal harbour towage work across ports in PNG from its main base at the Motukea port in Port Moresby. External towage work provided steady work in 2019 with tugs deployed throughout the region. Diving and life raft activity were steady. The company was engaged in a number of successful salvage and wreck removal operations in the region in 2019 and has established a strong reputation in this area.
Property & Hotels
Pacific Palms Property experienced a reduction in rental rates in 2019 in the face of increased competition and was unable to achieve the occupancy levels of the prior year and profit fell as a result. In response to growing competition, an upgrade programme was undertaken in Port Moresby and Lae to maintain its quality leadership position. Construction of the Harbourside second phase, Harbourside South, with residential, commercial and retail space, commenced mid-year and is on track for mid-2022 opening.
Coral Sea Hotels owns and manages nine properties in PNG and suffered from the increased capacity in Port Moresby coupled with the reduction in international arrivals. Nevertheless, CSH is committed to remain competitive through a sustained focus on investment in its quality service offering, food and beverage as well as the training and development of its staff.
Colgate-Palmolive, (PNG) Limited a PNG incorporated joint venture, saw volume and sales revenue growth across all three categories of Oral Care, Personal Care and Home Care. Overall margin for the business was slightly lower than budget. Overheads were prudently managed to finish below prior year and in line with budget.
Whether the key resource projects proceed or not, 2020 is expected to be another challenging year for the PNG economy. We remain hopeful that resource projects will progress to binding agreements and subsequent significant investment that would be beneficial to the citizens of PNG and all the other stakeholders in the projects.
We remain firmly focused on the future and our commitment to the development of the country and people of PNG and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Highlander Hotel opens its new conference facility
Steamships division, The Coral Seas Hotels Group hosted the business community of Mount Hagen at a function on Thursday 30th January, to announce the opening of the city’s latest business venue, the brand new Highlander Hotel Conference Centre.
Able to accommodate up to 300 guests, the facility provides state of the art audio visual, call conferencing and technological capability, all complemented by superior catering and hospitality services. The modern, temperature controlled rooms and amenities are equipped to provide the ideal environment to discuss, transact, and share business ideas.
In his welcoming remarks, Rupert Bray, the Chief Operating Officer of Steamships Limited emphasized the company’s ongoing commitment to Mount Hagen, through its investment in the Highlander Hotel and other commercial ventures including Hagen Central.
“Mount Hagen is a very important PNG destination, for both economic and cultural reasons” remarked Mr. Bray. “It is the gateway to the food basket of PNG, the Highlands region, and a thriving economic hub that will facilitate and foster growth in the Agricultural, SME and tourism sectors. We’re delighted to bring a facility of this size to Mount Hagen, one that the whole community can share, and one that is capable of hosting both regional and national meetings and forums”.
The General Manager of the Highlander Hotel, Leo Berka, also welcomed the new addition to his hotel. “The hotel has recently undergone a facelift, with new improved rooms, and the new conference facility adds another dimension to what we can offer to visitors to Mount Hagen. The staff and I are looking forward to welcoming guests and providing them with a first class hotel experience”.
Steamships celebrates its Family Fun Day in Lae
The Steamships Family Fun Day in Lae brought together the whole STC Lae community on Saturday 30 November at the Scrum Oval. The fun filled day had over 1,200 people including employees and their families from Pacific Palms Property, Coral Sea Hotels, JV Ports, Consort, East West Transport and Swire. The annual event had something for everyone, including bouncy castles, fun treats which included ice cream and candy floss, music, games and a BBQ.
On hand to help out on the day were Steamships Managing Director Michael Scantlebury and Chief Operating Officer Rupert Bray, who received good support from the General Managers of Consort and East West, along with senior staff members.
“We consider the Lae family fun day program to be an important event on our calendar. It’s just reward for our hard working employees on this side of the country, and provides a great opportunity for fun interaction between management, staff, and their families”, remarked Michael Scantlebury.
The planning committee had been working on the event and programme for the past two months according to Alythea Siraba from STC Corporate, who thanked the 10 volunteers from the Lae based companies for their assistance and contribution to a very enjoyable day.
The event was coordinated by The Right Connections, with supporting contributions from Colgate-Palmolive PNG Ltd, Ramu Agri, Theodist, Paradise Foods, Coca Cola Amital, and Guard Dog Security.
Highlander Hotel is gearing up for the opening of the new conference facility.
Highlander Hotel is gearing up for the opening of the new conference facility.
At a cocktail party on the eve of the Steamships Board meeting in Mt Hagen the Chairman took the opportunity to
introduce the soon to be opened Highlander Hotel conference facility.
“We are excited to continue our plans into 2020 with the opening of this refreshed conference facility featuring
upscale amenities, modern designs and a dedicated staff,” remarked Geoff Cundle.
On hand to witness the soft opening was Sir Peter Ipatas, Steamships Board of Directors, Coral Sea Hotels
Management, Mt. Hagen business community as well as various community leaders.
The new facility offers meeting rooms for up to 300 guests with flexible solutions for various meeting and banquet
requirements. The facility will offer AV capabilities with LCD projectors and screens combined with superior high
quality image clarity. Functional seminars, birthdays, corporate dinners and wedding receptions can take place at the
The conference centre is expected to open in phases starting 12 November 2019. “We are looking forward to
continuing our partnership with our guests and opening the doors to the new facility. Our excellent location is a
gateway to all businesses in the region and Highlander Hotel offers guests a variety of services including outdoor
pool, relaxing guest rooms, restaurants and meeting rooms”, said Peter Laigaard Jensen, Group General Manager of
Coral Sea Hotels.
The new facility exemplifies Steamships commitment to investment and partnership in the region and Coral Sea Hotels
are equally committed to building a meaningful and memorable experience for guests who chose to stay.
08 October 2019 ↓
Steamships Chiefs upsets Ela Ocean in intercompany netball.
The Steamships 2019 sporting calendar ended on a high note with the successful staging of the STC intercompany mixed netball competition. A total of sixteen teams took to the courts at the Rita Flynn Indoor Courts last Saturday, with 120 players vying for the prized Managing Director’s Cup.
After pool play, the teams qualifying for the play-offs included Grand Eagles, Gateway Dolphins, CHHO Hotties, Ela Ocean, Truckies Lae, Swire Sailors, Consort and STC Chiefs.
The fast paced finals saw STC Chiefs from Head Office go head to head with Ela Ocean’s from the Ela Beach Hotel, in what was a nerve wrecking and close encounter. The Chiefs were the surprise victors as they upset the competitive Ela Ocean’s to claim the Managing Director’s Cup and bragging rights for the next twelve months.
“The roller coaster was a bit bumpy for us because Ela Ocean’s is a competitive team and we had to push hard in the second half of the games to edge one point ahead and win the competition” said Raga Vali, STC Chief’s Captain and Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.
Steamships mixed netball competition is one of three sports on the company’s annual sporting calendar. The intercompany competition brings together employees of the company’s six divisions; Consort, Coral Sea Hotels, Pacific Towing, Pacific Palms Property, JV Ports, East West Transport, as well as sister company Swire Shipping and J/V partner Colgate Palmolive.
East West Truckies entered a team from Lae to compete in the competition. The Lae side performed well to win the runner up award in the General Manager’s Cup.
Managing Director Michael Scantlebury was on hand to give out the awards which was witnessed by Rupert Bray, Chief Operating Officer and divisional managers.
“Steamships intercompany sports has a long history which started with Rugby Sevens 25 years ago and expanded to include softball and netball. It’s the perfect way to create inclusiveness and team building amongst our employees, and a great way to meet colleagues from various divisions. The great thing is everyone plays in the spirit of the game, and on the court everyone is equal. You might get the occasional whistle blown on the COO or even a General Manager for running in the wrong courts. It’s a fun day for everyone, “remarked Michael Scantlebury.
The competition was coordinated by Stephan Dawanincura from The Right Connections and international sporting elite Mona Lisa Leka who was the Tournament Director and her team of officials.
Steamships would like to thank its divisions, Mona Lisa-Leka, KB Stone Crew, The Right Connections, Heisi Andrews and his team at the Rita Flynn Courts.
Steamships supports PNG saling cadets at Royal Papua Yacht Club
Steamships has come on board to proudly sponsor the Young Sailor’s Program this year.
Chief Operating Officer Rupert Bray was on hand on Sunday 29th September to present certificates to young Papua New Guinean sailing cadets at Royal Papua Yacht Club.
Mr Bray remarked, “Given our own maritime heritage, it seems appropriate to lend support to the development of young Papua New Guinean sailors. Sport offers essential developmental and pathway opportunities for children and young adults, and sailing is no exception. This programme will help to focus and nurture young talent, and who knows, may help to realise the Pacific, Commonwealth, and Olympic Games ambitions of one or two of the sailors”.
On hand to witness the presentations were Aaron Batts, General Manager for Royal Papua Yacht Club, Upu Navu Kila Sr, and the organising committee.
The young sailors went through an intensive eight-day school holiday training program last week. The program was aimed at providing the sailors with Hobie 16 and Laser racing skills to enable their advancement to an internationally competitive level.
The program was facilitated by the successful Papua New Guinean sailor and trainer, Upu Navu Kila MBE. Mr Kila has previously competed successfully at the Pacific Games representing PNG, as well as at many overseas events. He has received an MBE from the Queen as well as PNG Logohu Medals for services to sports.
The intensive training programs are ongoing, with an international event being planned for 2020 at the RPYC to coincide with Independence Day celebrations. In thanking Steamships, Aaron Batt, General Manager of the RPYC said, “This will showcase our local sailing talent as well as our beautiful harbour and unique culture and hospitality. It’s great to have Steamships on board”.
Level 5, Harbourside West, Stanley Esplanade
P.O. Box 1
National Capital District
Papua New Guinea
- (675) 3137400