Shareholders of Dangote Cement on Wednesday approved the dividend payout of N10.50 per 50 kobo share, representing 90 per cent of net profit and an increase of 23.5 per cent over the N8.5 per share paid last year.
The President, Progressives Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie, was quoted in a statement as saying at the company’s 9th Annual General Meeting in Lagos that the shareholders were pleased with Aliko Dangote and his team.
He said, “We are very happy and pleased with this result. 2017 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.”
The Chairman, Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote, attributed the 31 per cent increase in the company’s revenue of N805.6bn to its pan-African operations growth.
He said, “Our pan-African operations increased volumes by 8.4 per cent, with Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa all performing strongly and close to their operating capacity.”
Noting that the company experienced some challenges in its operations in sub-Saharan Africa, Dangote said the management responded in robust fashion and benefited from “the diversity we have created across our business and because of our local knowledge and attitudes towards doing business in neighbouring countries in Africa.”
The acting Group Chief Executive, Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju, said the company’s decision to increase the use of local coal in Nigeria helped to improve its fuel security, maintain production uptime and reduced the need for foreign currency.
He said, “We source coal from our parent company, Dangote Industries, and from another Nigerian supplier, and we are very happy with the way this has worked out for us because it has enabled us to phase out the use of expensive low pour fuel oil in our kilns and also to reduce our use of imported coal.
“As it stands, I think we will focus on building new grinding plants along the coast of West Africa, and ensure we have clinker export facilities in Nigeria. We are looking at the possibility of two new lines in Nigeria, perhaps by the end of 2020 and its likely these will be in Edo State and Obajana, with a combined capacity of 6MTA.”