Report: Sealaska income nearly doubled last year

Sealaska Corp. saw both its gross revenues and net income rise considerably in 2012 from the previous year, according to an annual report released to Sealaska shareholders Thursday.

According to the 2012 annual report, Sealaska’s consolidated gross revenues went from $263.7 million in 2011 to $311.6 million in 2012, while its net income almost doubled, going from $6.7 million in 2011 to $11.3 million in 2012.

The data comes from an independent audit of Sealaska’s finances conducted by KPMG LLP, a Seattle-based firm.

Chris E. McNeil Jr., president and chief executive officer of Sealaska, said the data indicated an “excellent balance sheet” for the Alaska Native corporation, which is headquartered in Juneau.

“Sealaska is transforming itself and redefining its path to long-term economic sustainability,” McNeil wrote in a letter to Sealaska’s tribal member shareholders. “Our goal is that, within the next three years, Sealaska will continue to be profitable even without including ANCSA Section 7(i) revenue.”

Section 7(i) of the federal Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANSCA, requires regional corporations to share revenue from natural resources.

Sealaska has a timber program that operates during the summer, primarily on Prince of Wales Island.

McNeil also suggested Sealaska could sell off subsidiaries “that do not fit the company’s long-term strategy or its core Native values,” according to Sealaska’s announcement Friday.

“This is a healthy process, since we will deliberately shrink to a more cohesive base from which we will grow again,” McNeil was quoted as stating.

Albert Kookesh, chairman of Sealaska’s board of directors and a former state senator, was quoted in the Sealaska announcement as praising the corporation’s work over the previous year.

“While the board is pleased with our increased revenues and profitability in 2012, we must achieve the operational transformation that management is implementing in order to advance our purpose — to strengthen our people, culture and homelands,” said Kookesh, according to the release. “In 2012 Sealaska paid nearly $27 million in distributions to shareholders and village corporations; contributed more than $1.3 million of cash and in-kind services to Sealaska Heritage Institute; and paid more than $293,000 in educational scholarships. These are important measures of success in addition to revenues and net income.”


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