Shareholders of Dangote Cement have commended the total dividend of N272.6 billion recommended by the company for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2020, in spite of the economic challenges.
The shareholders, however, unanimously at the 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually approved the dividend which translated to N16 per share.
Speaking on behalf of shareholders, the founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Sunny Nwosu, commended the company for attaining a trillion-naira revenue growth.
Nwosu appealed to the company to prevail on its numerous distributors who arbitrarily sell cement at very high costs as against the real factory price, thereby making so much profit for themselves and causing undue pressure on consumers.
Also, a shareholder, Mr Nona Awoh, commended the board for the consistency in dividend payout, urging the board to consider payment of dividend twice a year.
The shareholders lauded the management for the full disclosure provided for the year, share buyback process and the various donations made to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to the shareholders, Chairman of Dangote Cement, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, assured them of better returns, noting that the company was doing everything possible to create wealth for its shareholders and other stakeholders.
Dangote further said in spite of the challenging year ocassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a record year for the company across board
He said the board maintained the 2019 dividend of N16 per share, reinforcing its commitment to maximising shareholders value.
“Dangote Cement hit the N1 trillion mark in terms of revenue. Group revenues were up 16 per cent compared to 2019. We record group cement sales of 25.7 million tonnes (Mt) and revenues of N1.034 trillion. Most notably was our record high EBITDA of N478.1 billion, up 20.9 per cent compared to 2019.
“In 2020, we commissioned our Apapa and Onne export terminals in Nigeria and commenced clinker exports to West and Central Africa.
“The vision for our exporter strategy is to make West and Central Africa cement and clinker self-sufficient, with Nigeria as the main supplier and exporter.
“We also remain focused on meeting the demand in Nigeria and as such, we increased our capacity by three MT on Obajana and we commissioned our gas-fired power plant in Tanzania.
“Our Nigerian domestic operations sold 15.6Mt, up 14.3 per cent year-on-year, growing ahead the market.
“This strong volume growth was enhanced by our successful innovative national consumer promotion ‘Bag of Goodies- Season 2’, lower rains in the third quarter compared to the previous year and the low interest rate environment driving strong demand for real estate assets and supporting the construction sector.
“Pan-Africa volumes were up by 4.4 per cent to 10.0Mt despite the various lock-downs and restrictions in 2020. The Pan-African region achieved a record high EBITDA of N71.3 billion, up 49.0 per cent, notably supported by strong performance in Ethiopia and Senegal,” he said.
On the outlook for 2021, Dangote said the company would sustain present growth, noting that the board was considering all strategic and financial options for the company.
“We will continue to improve our efforts in sustainability by applying ‘The Dangote Way’ to the seven sustainability pillars of our business culture and operations.
“We are also focused on increasing capacity in the Nigerian market and building grinding plants across West and Central Africa to be fed clinker from Nigeria. We welcome the Africa Free Trade Agreement which supports our export strategy and long-term growth in Africa.
“Dangote Cement is well positioned to capture demand driven by the economic recovery in 2021, as the region recovers from the impact of the pandemic and all our countries of operation return to growth,” Dangote said.