Dangote Cement to attract $700m forex, pays dividend of N16 per 50k share - BUSINESSDAY
Shareholders of Dangote Cement were all in high spirits and full of praise to the Board and management of the company during the company’s 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos on Monday. This was after the sum of N16 was approved as a dividend on each 50 kobo share held.
Shareholders through their respective association heads lauded the decision to increase dividend payout by 52.4 percent from the N10.50 kobo per share that was paid in the corresponding period of 2017.
Speaking at the AGM on Monday, Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Cement, described the shareholders and staff as the bedrock of the company. He expressed optimism on the prospect of the company, saying it would be effectively operating in a minimum of 18 African countries in a short while by increasing the capacity of its Obajana Plant to 16 million metric tonnes, making it one of the biggest cement plants in the world.
“All these, surely will translate to an enhanced value appreciation to the shares of Dangote Cement and more money in the pockets of the shareholders,” he told the excited shareholders.
Dangote also revealed that the plans of the company would definitely attract $700 million foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy through exporting of the products, thereby helping the Federal Government and also the group in its other activities across Africa.
“We have a lot of on-going projects aimed at increasing capacity and by next year, we will not only export 1 million tonnes as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria. We will have a capacity of about 8 million tonnes to export and that will generate a foreign exchange of about $700 million into the country,” Dangote said in a chat with newsmen after the AGM.
He described 2018 as the most successful year for the company as it recorded an increase in cement sales by 7.4 percent to 23.5 million tonnes and 11.9 percent growth in revenues to N901.2 billion.
“Sales of cement from our Nigerian plants increased by 11.4 percent to 14.2 million metric tonnes in 2018. Our pan-African operations contributed 9.4 million metric tonnes, level on 2017, with strong performances in Cameroon, Senegal and Zambia helping to offset weaknesses in Ethiopia and gas turbines now operating in Tanzania; we expect these two large plants to improve their performance in 2019, further increasing profitability,” he said.
Speaking further on the expansion dream of the company, Dangote said, “Later in 2019, we will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt that will enable us to export clinker, initially to our grinding plants we are building in West Africa. Not only will these generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside of Nigeria, they will also help to increase the output of our Nigerian plants. They will also help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria, something of which all stakeholders can be proud of,” he said.
Noting that the future looks bright for the company, Joseph Makoju, Group CEO of the company, said the company in 2019 would focus on efficiency gains and achieving higher sales in domestic and export markets.
“A major priority for us is to get these export terminals on stream so we can replace non-African imports in Cameroon, rake in foreign currency for Nigeria and increase the utilisation of our Nigerian plants,” he said.
Sunny Nwosu, national coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association, expressed satisfaction at the performance of the company, describing it as remarkable and unprecedented. He advised the management not to rest on its oars as the shareholders would be expecting more in the next accounting year.
Beside the performance of the company, Nwosu also noted that the sustainability report of the company was commendable and that everybody would like to associate with a company like Dangote Cement with a track record of good corporate governance and sustainability development.