Haines-area village corporation holds off on dividends

Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Southeast village corporation will not issue dividends until the stock market recovers, according to a board member.

Bill Thomas, former chief executive and current board member of Klukwan Inc., said the once wealthy village corporation based near Haines has fallen on tough times.

Thomas blamed the no-dividend policy on Wall Street blues and said shareholders gave verbal approval at the company's annual meeting last fall to forgo quarterly dividends until the economy turns around and Klukwan's portfolio rebounds.

The decision not to pay dividends in March marked the first time the company did not hand out regular checks, Thomas said.

''Our earnings were eroded,'' he said, and shareholders decided not to dip into company reserves to pay dividends.

Klukwan's regular dividends came in part from earnings in large-scale logging. In 1996, the typical shareholder with 100 shares received a check for $65,000. The total payout came to $16 million.

Besides stock market woes, Thomas said, one of Klukwan's construction subsidiaries is trying to emerge from bankruptcy.

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