The proposed N7.2 billion dividend by the directors of Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc, for the 2016 financial year has been approved by the shareholders.
Besides, the Chairman, DSR, Aliko Dangote, also disclosed plans to invest N106 billion into the company to enhance profitability and shareholders’ value.
The dividend, which translated to 60 kobo per share, was approved at the 11th yearly general meeting of the company held in Lagos at the weekend.
The shareholders commended the board for efficient running of the affairs of the company despite the challenges in the operating environment.
Speaking at the meeting, the National Coordinator Emeritus of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, noted that the management of the company is becoming more proactive, going by the giant strides they are making in the areas of backward integration.
According to him, DSR has remained the foremost sugar refinery in Nigeria and continued to add value to shareholders’ investment.
Nwosu also decried the spate of fraud in the capital market, urging the regulatory authorities to address the issue with urgency.
The President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr Farouk Umar, commended the board and management for the enhanced performance despite the challenging operating environment.
Umar also lauded the company for increasing its dividend pay out to 60 kobo from 50 kobo per share declared in 2015. He urged the management to do everything within their powers to consolidate on the performance.
Reviewing the 2016 performance at the meeting, Dangote said: “Our performance for the year 2016 reflects the outcome of our strategic initiatives being implemented over the past two years, to ensure the company sustains this performance in the face of the economic downturn.
He pointed out that the company remains committed to delivering superior returns to its shareholders as it declared a total dividend of N7.2 billion, adding that the N106 billion investment, when concluded would boost the company’s market share as well dividend payable to the shareholders.
Furthermore, the chairman added that about N101 billion had been committed towards the actualisation of the company’s Backward Integration Project (BIP) targets.
“To date about N101 billion has been committed towards the actualisation of these projects on equipment purchase, land studies and survey, sensitisation campaign for the local communities,” Dangote said.
He said a part of the fund was committed for the rehabilitation and expansion of Savannah Sugar Company, while expressing optimism that the company’s target to produce 1.5 million tonnes of refined sugar from locally grown sugarcane in the next six years was achievable.
He also said the company remained committed to the actualisation of its backward integration plans, and would continue with the effective management of resources to achieve the set target.
He noted that the company realigned the BIP strategy during the year under review with focus on the full expansion of Savannah Sugar Company, the Greenfield project in Nasarawa State, and the Lau/Tau project in Taraba State.
Dangote told the shareholders that the Nasarawa State Government had approved the project, noting that the company is in the process of cultivating 50-hectare sugarcane nursery at the site.
He assured shareholders that the board was working very closely with the management at ensuring that the projects were executed with financial discipline and integrity.
Dangote Sugar posted a turnover of N169.72 billion, higher than against N101.06 billion achieved in the corresponding period 2015. Profit after tax also rose from N11.14 billion to N14.39 billion during the period under review.