- Equities Gain N63bn, Dangote Cement Seeks More Market Share
The equities market appreciated by N63bn on Thursday to close at N9.841tn from N9.778tn.
It recorded 30 gainers and 14 laggards as a total of 418.935 million shares worth N4.962bn exchanged hands in 3,944 deals.
UACN Property Development Company Plc led the gainers’ chart, appreciating by 9.74 per cent to close at N2.14.
This was followed by Livestock Feeds Plc, Linkage Assurance Plc, GlaxosmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, among others.
On the otherhand, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Mobil Nigeria Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, May and Baker Nigeria Plc led the decliners’ chart.
Meanwhile, Dangote Cement Plc has reiterated its resolve to expand its market share in Nigeria and further boost earnings in the short term.
Shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos, approved the dividend payout of N144.8bn, which translated to N8.50 per share as against N8 per share, that was paid in the corresponding period of 2015.
The chairman of the company, Aliko Dangote, while presenting the reports to the shareholders, said the company’s strategy in every country of operations was to be the leader on costs, quality and service.
He said the company build large, modern, highly efficient plants that combined the latest equipment from Europe, China and beyond to enable it make higher-quality cement at lower costs, thereby giving it strong competitive advantages.
He said, “Looking back at the 2016 financial year, I am pleased to report that our cement sales volumes increased by 25 per cent to nearly 23.6 metric tonnes. Of this, almost 14.8mt was sold in the Nigerian market. Revenues increased by 25.1 per cent to N615.1bn, of which 68.3 per cent was generated in Nigeria (excluding eliminations) and 31.7 per cent from Pan-African operations.
“Our earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation decreased only slightly, to N257.2bn, with Pan-African operations contributing N26.5bn, excluding central costs. Earnings per share increased by 4.5 per cent to N11.34.”
The President, Amiable Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Festus Akano, said the shareholders were pleased with the company as it still went ahead to pay a robust dividend despite the recession in the economy, which also affected its operations, adding that, “This shows the doggedness and the fighting entrepreneurial spirit of the management.”
Another shareholder, Akin Akinwumi, from the Progressive Shareholders Association urged the management to give a bonus and a better dividend in 2017.
He said, “We thank the management for giving us this dividend but we are appealing so strongly that bonus issue should also be considered. For some of us, we prefer a bonus to this dividend and we know it can be done.”
In his remark, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Onne van der Weijde, revealed that the expansion strategy of the company yielded fruits last year when Nigeria was in recession as the plants across Africa contributed significantly to the company’s turnover.
He said, “We can see how that strategy has helped us in a time that our main market (Nigeria) is facing a recession, high inflation, lower consumer spending and a shortage of foreign currency to fund essential imports. But outside of Nigeria, we’ve had operations that have now been running for more than a year and they are experiencing good growth and improving profitability.”