Goldbelt approves $544,400 payout to shareholders

Success of federal contractors helps fuel $2 per-share dividend

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2007

Goldbelt's board of directors approved a $2-per-share dividend last week, based on record revenues from the urban Native corporation's Mount Roberts Tramway and Goldbelt Hotel Juneau operations, and the success of its federal contracting companies.

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The total payout to shareholders will be about $544,400. There are about 3,200 shareholders, and 272,200 shares, or an average of 85 shares per shareholder. Holdings per shareholder vary, depending on inheritances and gifts.

"Even though the year isn't finished, we are pretty certain we've set a new record for both the tram and hotel," said Bob Martin, vice president of operations. "The projections are that the hotel and tram did exceptionally well this year, as did the 8(a) companies (contractors). The season is basically over. The vast bulk of the revenue comes in the summer time."

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Financial disclosures for 2007 are not yet available, but 2006 financial statements indicate a bulk of the corporation's revenue comes from its out-of-state subsidiaries that carry no-bid federal contracts. The federal government is considering dropping the contract privileges, created to benefit minority-owned corporations.

Goldbelt's eight contractor companies brought in $67.5 million in revenue in 2006 from the federal government, according to Goldbelt's 2006 financial statements.

Goldbelt's revenue from tourism amounted to $7.8 million in 2006, and revenue from real estate was $270,590. After costs are taken out, operating income was $5.3 million. After debts and deductions, the net income in 2006 was $1.74 million.

The dividend is the second this year. Goldbelt distributed a $1.25-per-share dividend this January, which was the first in several years. Martin could not recall when the last dividend was distributed before this year, but he guessed it was in 2000.

The company went through difficult financial times in the 1990s after heavily investing in the tourism industry, according to its Web site. It saw more success when it began to diversify its investments into federal contracts.

Goldbelt's contractor companies provide a wide variety of services, including construction, vehicle and equipment leasing, military training, facilities management, personnel placement, logistical support and aerospace engineering. These businesses have operations in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; North Carolina; New Jersey and Louisiana; according to the company's Web site.

Sean Anderson is a Seattle-based Goldbelt shareholder. A construction project manager, he did not remember how many shares he owns and did not expect the dividend to dramatically affect his finances.

"It's kind of like when you find something in your coat pocket that you hadn't realized was there," Anderson said when he learned of the dividend.



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