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Estonia to take out €159 million in dividends from state companies

Port of Tallinn is an Estonian-owned company.
Port of Tallinn is an Estonian-owned company. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Estonian government on Thursday approved an order according to which state-invested companies will pay altogether €159.3 million in dividends into the state budget in 2018. The sum total to flow into the budget inclusive of income tax will be €199.2 million.

Of the €159.3 million, €100.5 million is income reflected in the state budget position and €58.8 million superdividend reflected in cash flow, it appears from the draft of an order submitted to the government by the Ministry of Finance.

The 2018 state budget shows the sum total of dividend from companies in which the state has at least the required interest as €98.5 million. The better than expected performance of four companies — lottery company AS Eesti Loto, road maintenance company AS Eesti Teed, pilotage company AS Eesti Loots and postal services company AS Eesti Post — will allow for money to be paid in dividends into the state budget this year than planned; the four companies will pay a combined €14.5 million into the state budget.

The size of the dividend of the state-owned company Port of Tallinn (AS Tallinna Sadam) had been discussed in the course of the preparation of the initial public offering (IPO) of shares of the port company, and it was decided at a Cabinet meeting in November 2017 that the company would pay out €105 million in dividends in 2018. A dividend of this size will allow the company to pay an attractive dividend yield to investors taking part in the IPO in 2019 and beyond.

Considering the preliminary unaudited results of Port of Tallinn for 2017, the maximum amount that can be recognized as budgetary revenue is €46.2 million, based on the so-called superdividend test methodology used by Statistics Estonia. In accordance with this methodology, only the dividends which do not exceed the operating profit for the previous year, as adjusted with the profit from disposals or revaluations of assets, will be recognized as state budgetary revenue.

The operating profit of Port of Tallinn in 2017 totaled €40.3 million, which included a loss from the revaluation of assets in the amount of €5.9 million; the operating profit adjusted to loss thus totaled €46.2 million.

In 2017, the sum total of dividends paid by companies in which the state has at least the required interest was €136.2 million.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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