In his letter to the editor, Bevan Dodds explains that DCHL was established to allow Dunedin City Council-owned companies to operate commercially at arm’s length from the council while returning a dividend which the council can then use to offset rates. Although in conclusion he asks, “Why would you not smile at payments of $19.8m that help keep your rates down?”, this doesn’t begin to address – and doesn’t have to – the signalled rate increases ahead. Ahhh, the convenience of that arm’s length between truth or dare.
### ODT Tue, 20 Oct 2009 (page 8)
Letters to the editor
Inconvenient truth: DCHL did well
By Bevan Dodds
Chief Executive, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd
Several “Letters to the Editor” have claimed ‘spin’ or challenged the expenditure of ratepayers’ money on celebrating, via a half page advertisement in your newspaper, the 2008-09 financial results posted by the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd Group of companies.
The payments made by DCHL to the council of $19.8 million comprised $9.5 million dividends and $10.3 million of interest, reflecting the investment in DCHL made up of both loans and shares. The breakdown is carefully set out in the annual report.
After tax profit figures calculated under NZ accounting standards for a group such as DCHL will never match cash or “what is left over in the bank”. Note 34 to the DCHL accounts lists 20 reconciling items between the accounting profit and the cash generated by the group from its business activities.
The total of the profits of the subsidiaries plus the profit of the parent company will only in very rare situations match the consolidated profit of an accounting group. There is no magic here, or mysterious losses because if there was Audit New Zealand and indeed the ODT’s own business reporters would make this very clear, just the pure principles of consolidated accounting.
The full letter is available in print and digital editions of the Otago Daily Times.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr