By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Shareholders of NASCON Allied Industries Plc have approved a total dividend of N1.06 billion declared by the company for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2020.
The shareholders unanimously gave the approval at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Friday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dividend translated to 40k per share to be paid to qualified shareholders on May 31.
Speaking at the meeting, the National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs Bisi Bakare, lauded the company for sustaining dividend payment in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bakare said the company’s performance during the year under review was better than 2019, despite the challenging environment occasioned by the pandemic.
She urged the board and management to sustain the growth path for enhanced returns to all stakeholders.
Also speaking, the founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Sunny Nwosu, commended the board for the consistency in dividend payout.
Nwosu, however, urged the company to improve on the dividend in the years ahead.
He also called on the company to expand its footprint in the South East and West to boost revenue and profitability.
Responding to the shareholders, the Chairman, Mrs Yemisi Ayeni, assured them of enhanced dividend pay out in the years ahead.
Ayeni said: “2020 was a challenging year for our business and the world in general.
“Yet it was also a year that provided our business the opportunity to revive service delivery processes, reposition the salt business based on our additional capacity and focus on our distribution models.”
Ayeni said the company had invested heavily in a new salt refinery to produce high quality products for its discerning products.
“This is a state-of-the-art salt refinery plant, using best practices to produce high quality products for our discerning customers,” she said.
Ayeni noted that the company reviewed its strategy in line with market and economic realities to maintain its position in the industry.
Mr Paul Farrer, the company’s Managing Director, said the major challenge in the Nigerian business environment in 2020 was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Farrer noted that the pandemic impacted various aspects such as the supply chain, human health and consumer purchasing power.
“Despite the challenges experienced in the business environment, we achieved revenues of N28.01 billion and EBITDA of N6.36 billion.
“Profit after tax for the year was N2.69 billion compared with N1.85 billion in 2019 with earnings per share of N1.02 (70k in 2019),” Farrer said.
On outlook for NASCON in 2021, he expressed optimism of enhance growth and performance in spite of the diverse challenges.
“Despite the diverse challenges faced during these trying times, we continue to demonstrate our resilience and optimism into 2021.
“We are focused on maximising the gains from our capacity expansion, human capital development, operational efficiency and aggressive trade in all market segments,” he said. (NAN)