In a statement filed at The Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Company said it had earlier paid an interim dividend of N7.9 billion, that is, N1.00 (one Naira only). The declared final dividend of N2.58, which is in addition to N1.00 interim dividend is a 100% earnings pay out.
Thus, the final dividend will be N20. 5 billion that is, N2.58 (two Naira fifty kobo) per share. The proposed final dividend will be subject to deduction of withholding tax at the appropriate rate and will be payable on the 4th of May, 2017, to all shareholders whose names appear on the Company’s Register of Members at the close of business on the 8th of March, 2017.
The statement signed by the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, added that the Board also recommended for approval by shareholders, an option for qualifying shareholders to receive new ordinary shares in the Company instead of the cash final dividend, on terms and conditions as the Board may determine based on prevailing market conditions.
The 100% dividend payout is coming at a time the results of the Company were impacted by high inflation and scarcity of foreign exchange in the macro-economic environment.
An analysis of the Company’s audited results shows that Results from Operating Activities declined by 15% to close at N52.9 billion in 2016 from N62 billion achieved in 2015. Profit before Tax dropped by 27.3% from N54 billion at the end of the 2015 financial year to N39.6 billion in the same period in 2016 while Profit after tax dipped by 25.4% to N28 billion in 2016 from the N38 billion posted in 2015. The company recorded a 6.7% growth in revenue, closing the 2016 financial year at N313 billion from the N293 billion it recorded in 2015.
While commenting further on the results, Agbebaku said that the Company was able to end the year with a positive result due to its twin agenda of Cost Leadership and Market Leadership supported by Innovation. The statement acknowledged that although the operating environment in 2017 is expected to be similar to 2016, the Company remains confident that it is well positioned to adapt to the operating environment as required, and stay committed to delivering a good return on investment to shareholders.