Shareholders of Dangote Cement Plc, yesterday, commended the company for increasing the dividend by 33.3 per cent from N6.0 dividend payout in 2014 to N8.0 in 2015.
The shareholders, who spoke during the company's seventh yearly general meeting in Lagos yesterday, lauded the company on its backward integration in the cement sector of the construction industry, especially the commencement of the construction of a $1billion cement plant in Okpella, Edo state.
Specifically, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie commended the management of Dangote on a 33 per cent appreciation in shareholders dividend from N6 in 2014 to N8 for the financial year ended 31st December 2015.
He pointed out that the dividend payout is the highest so far in the industry, urging him to continue to enhance its local capacity in the country,
Another shareholder, Mrs Bisi Bakare lauded the company for creating direct jobs through its various projects in the country and impacting positively on the host communities, its people and the state.
"I want to use this opportunity to thank our chairman and the board for their generosity towards the nation's development. As a giant of Africa, the financial support given to our subsidiaries by the company will go a long way in developing other countries we have interest.
"This is a total eradication of poverty and creation of more job opportunities all over. Our performance during the year is a successive growth and transformative, as our capacity increased by 24 per cent to 43.6 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa). Similarly, our sales volume also increased by 35 percent to 18.9 mtpa from 14.0 mtpa.
"From seven sites in 2014, we have grown to 11 sites, and we are projecting a growth of 24 sites by year 2020. In Employment, we have currently employed 14,289 people with a projected growth to 29,000 by year 2020.
"If we have five of you in the nation it will go along way in the total transformation of the continent. We commend you, may you live long to enjoy the fruit of your labour." She added.
The Chairman of the company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote assured the shareholders that the company would continue to deploy strategies that would increase profitability in spite of the prevailing harsh operating climate.
He pointed out that with the measures put in place, the foreign exchange volatility would not affect the operations of the company significantly more so when its other African plants are operating maximally and yielding positive results to cushion the effect of the scarce foreign exchange at home.
Dangote added that the company produces 44 million mtpa in eight countries with 14, 289 staff, and N491.7 billion in sales. "We have invested billions of dollar in building new capacity across Africa, creating thousands of jobs in factories, logistics, sales and support. We have single handily helped Nigeria become self-sufficient in cement.
"We have good strategy in place, the volatility of the foreign exchange will not affect our operations. I am not an advocate of devaluation of our currency, even if that had happened, it would not have affected your company "Looking back at 2015, we have shown that that our core Nigerian businesses is adaptable and robust in the face of serious external challenges. We have proved that we can enter new territories successfully and quickly achieve excellent market share. "We reduced the level of business risk we faced and reduce our overall net debt, while at the same time increasing our revenue and profitability. I think few of this great continent's major companies can claim to have matched these achievements.
"I hope our success in 2015 has rewarded the confidence you have placed in us over the past few years and trust you will continue to share our successes as we continue our expansion to become a global force in cement," he added.
The company declared a profit after tax of N181.3 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2015, against the N151.5 billion posted in 2014. The profit represented a growth of 13.67 per cent when compared with figure for 2014.
The company's profit before tax stood at N188.3 billion compared with N184.7 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2014.Further breakdown of the result indicated that the company declared a revenue of N491.7 billion compared with N391.6 recorded in 2014, an increase of 26 per cent.
The board of directors recommended a dividend of N8 per share against N6 paid in 2014, a growth of 33 per cent. The company in 2015 announced plans to increase its capacity by 25 million metric tonnes across African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia, as well as a new plant in Nepal.
Source:© Copyright Guardian Online