- Dangote Cement’s N144.8bn Dividend Delights Shareholders
Shareholders of Dangote Cement wednesday were full of praises for the board, management and staff of the company after approving the dividend payout of N144.8 billion, which translated to N8.50 kobo per share as against N8 per share, that was paid in the corresponding period of 2015.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM), held in Lagos, the President of Amiable Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Festus Akano, said the shareholders were pleased with Aliko Dangote and his team.
He said for the company to still pay a robust dividend despite the recession in the economy, which also affected their operations, shows the doggedness and the fighting entrepreneurial spirit of the management.
According to him, “We are very happy and pleased with this result. 2016 was very tough with the recession and fluctuation in the foreign exchange market which the Chairman also said affected their operations, but despite all these challenges, the company was still able to pay us a very good dividend, better than last year, and even gave us hope of better returns on our investments in the years to come. This is very commendable and it is only a company like Dangote Cement that can achieve this laudable feat.”
The Chairman of the company, Aliko Dangote, while presenting the reports to the shareholders said the company’s strategy in every country of operations is to be the leader on costs, quality and service.
He said the company build large, modern, highly efficient plants that combine the latest equipment from Europe, China and beyond to enable it make higher-quality cement at lower costs, thereby giving it strong competitive advantages.
According to him: “Looking back at the 2016 financial year, I am pleased to report that our cement sales volumes increased by 25.0 per cent to nearly 23.6Mt. Of this, almost 14.8Mt was sold in the Nigerian market. Revenues increased by 25.1 per cent to 615.1B, 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 (EBITDA) decreased only slightly, to257.2 billion, with Pan-African operations contributing 26.5 billion, excluding central costs. Earnings per share increased by 4.5 per cent to 11.34.
As I have already stated, the board proposes a dividend of 8.5 per 50 kobo share, subject to your approval, to be paid on 26th May 2017 to shareholders”
Another shareholder, Akin Akinwumi, from the Progressive Shareholders Association urged the Management to give a bonus and a better dividend in this 2017.
He said the company should do all within its power to give bonus issue.
Akinwumi 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.”
He expressed optimism on the pan African plants, especially now that the plants are contributing significantly to the turnover of the company.
“It is a statement of fact that we are lucky to be shareholders of this great company. If you see what our subsidiaries across Africa is contributing to the turnover, then you will understand what I am talking about. I am very happy and our members are upbeat for the future, knowing fully well that it will only get better.”
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 of 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, so we have managed to offset some of those topline pressures in Nigeria with revenue streams from countries in very different parts of the continent. Furthermore, those Pan-African operations are helping to generate foreign currency for the group, so this shows how a long-term decision to diversify can help with a short-term pressure like an illiquid currency market in Nigeria.”
Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End
In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.
This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.
Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.
Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”
“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.
Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.
The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.
Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.
Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria
Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.
Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.
He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.
“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.
“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”
According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.
He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.
“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”
The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.
“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”
He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.
Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO
Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.
Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.
She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.
In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.
Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.
In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.
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