Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) General Manager – Ivan Fong, Vodafone Fiji Limited Chief Executive Officer – Pradeep Lal, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) Chairman – Ajith Kodagoda, Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) Chief Investment Officer – Mr Jaoji Koroi
Vodafone Fiji handed over a record dividend cheque of $33m in total to its two major shareholders the FNPF and the ATH Group as full and final dividend payment for last financial year. This is the single largest dividend payout that Vodafone Fiji has made to its shareholders since the inception of the company 21 years ago. FNPF is the largest stakeholder of Vodafone Fiji with a direct and indirect control of 79% equity in the company.
In accepting the cheque, the Chairman of FNPF acknowledged Vodafone’s exceptional performance over the last 20 years delivering above average returns on shareholder funds invested in the company. According to FNPF Chairman, this was a great milestone for the country and all Fijians. “It meant that all profits made by Vodafone Fiji Limited is retained in Fiji and the dividend received today will have a significant impact on FNPF’s income, which is later distributed to FNPF members. All Fijians need to understand that that they own 100% of VFL and whatever they spent with the business will come back to them in the form of dividends,” said Mr. Kodagoda.
“Vodafone Fiji has been a star performer in the portfolio of investments held by FNPF delivering impressive returns on FNPF member funds”, said Mr. Kodagoda. “It has consistently delivered above average returns over the last 20 years. This is a reflection of the strength of the company, its management capability, its strategies and business processes which have remained relevant with time to meet customer expectations in a fast evolving and globally competitive ICT industry. Credit goes to the Board and the Management for the great stewardship and strategic direction to the employees for the passion to deliver such excellent results”.
In July last year, Vodafone Fiji became a 100% locally owned entity after FNPF acquired 49% of Vodafone Group shares in the company. Since the deregulation of telecommunication market in 2007, Vodafone Fiji remains the market leader, maintaining its premier position by continuously being first to market with new products and services
Vodafone Fiji has achieved many milestones in its 21 years of operations in the country. It holds the distinction for the only corporate to have won the prestigious President’s Award for Business Excellence for a record four times. Last year, the company also won a World Class Award for Business Excellence from the Asia Pacific Quality Organization based in Singapore. Lately, the company was rated number one in the Asia Pacific regions for 4G mobile data speeds by the popular online speed testing site.
In May this year, the company picked up yet another global award, this time in the Service Innovation category from Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards and Innovation Summit in Piccadilly, London.
On the corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility front, Vodafone is a model in country. Its contribution back to society through the numerous sponsorships, “mobile for social good” and “world of difference programs” are exemplary.
Last year saw the retirement of Vodafone’s Fiji’s long serving CEO, Mr. Aslam Khan. The CEO role is now assumed by Mr. Pradeep Lal who was previously the Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Lal has hit the ground running securing management contracts with a number of major mobile Telco’s in the region. Recently, with ATH announcing the 100% acquisition of the assets of Telecom Services Kiribati Limited, ATH will be leveraging on the strength and expertise of Vodafone Fiji to manage the business on its behalf. Two week ago, the company also announced the takeover of Fiji leading IT Company, Datec Fiji Limited as it prepares for the next of wave growth through cloud based technologies and “internet of things”.
The expansion strategy is to look for growth opportunities in the region and in the ICT sector. More acquisitions and joint venture discussions are in the pipeline and company is expected to make these announcements as these get formalized.