Shareholders of Dangote Cement were full of praises to the board and management of the company, after the sum of N16 was approved as dividend on each 50kobo share during their 10th AGM, held in Lagos.
The shareholders, through their respective associations, lauded the decision to increase dividend payout by 52.4 per cent from N10.50 per share that was paid in the corresponding period of 2017.
Speaking at the AGM on Monday, Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote described the shareholders and staff as the bedrock of the company.
He expressed optimism on the prospect of the company, revealing that it will 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 tons, 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 will attract $700 million foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy through export of the products, thereby helping the Federal Government, and the group in its other activities across Africa.
In an interview with newsmen after the AGM, Dangote said: “We have a lot of on-going projects aimed at increasing capacity and by next year, we will not only export 1 million tons as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria.
“We will have capacity of about 8 million tons to export and that will generate foreign exchange of about $700 million into the country.”
Dangote described 2018 as the most successful for the company as it recorded an increase in cement sales by7.4 per cent to 23.5 million tonnes and 11.9 per cent growth in revenues to N901.2 billion.
He further said: “Sales of cement from our Nigerian plants increased by 11.4 per cent to 14.2 million metric tons in 2018. Our pan-African operations contributed 9.4 million metric tons, level on 2017, with strong performances in Cameroon, Senegal and Zambia helping to offset weaknesses in Ethiopia and with gas turbines now operating in Tanzania, we expect these two large plants to improve their performance in 2019, further increasing profitability.”
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 that we are building in West Africa.”
Noting that the future looks very bright for the company, Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Joseph Makoju, said the company in 2019 will focus on efficiency gains and achieving higher sales in domestic and export markets.
He said: “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 utilization of our Nigerian plants.”
National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association, Chief Sunny Nwosu, expressed satisfaction at the performance of the company describing it as remarkable and unprecedented. He then advised the management not to rest on its oars as the shareholders would be expecting more in the next accounting year.