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page 20 Page 20 Economy: Lower dividends imminent as firms battle to survive Stories from Kayode Ogunwale, Lagos There is strong indication that many companies…

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Page 20

Economy: Lower dividends imminent as firms battle to survive

Stories from Kayode Ogunwale, Lagos

There is strong indication that many companies listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may not be able to pay good dividend this year for the financial year ended December 2015.

This has to do with lower revenues profiles and bottom line of their result (profit after tax) when compared with prior year.

Also the dividend that any company will declare must be align with their current share price which is lower than that of last year.

FBN Holdings Plc one of the companies listed on the bourse had last week issued a profit warning to its shareholders.

The financial firm said is expecting lower earnings from its 2015 full year result.

The holding firm which comprises First Bank of Nigeria, FBN Capital, FBN Insurance and many more in an information sent to the NSE signed by its Secretary, Tijani Borodo said the preliminary review of FBN Holdings Plc accounts is expected that earnings will be materially below that of the prior year.

The reason given been that the reassessment was driven by the challenging macro environment, couple with fiscal and monetary headwinds which have resulted in marked reduction in domestic output.

Last year, Daily Trust reported that three banks comprises Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank declared N107 billion dividend for the year ended 31 December, 2014.

The three banks declared 11.55 per cent of their gross earnings and 37.16 per cent of their profit before tax as dividend for their shareholders.

Their gross earnings in 2014 stood at N927.08 billion, while their profit before tax was N288.20 billion.

On its part, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, which has shares outstanding of 29,431,179,224, declared a dividend of N1.50 kobo which amounted to N44.147 billion while Zenith Bank Plc with shares outstanding of 31,396,493,786 declared a dividend of N1.75 kobo per share to its shareholders, representing N54.944 billion and Access Bank Plc, which has shares outstanding of 22,882,918,908, declared a dividend of N0.35 kobo per share, which amounted to N8.009 billion.

Abuja airport shop owners’ laments poor sales, high rent

By Chris Agabi

Shop owners at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja have decried the huge rent they pay in the face of dwindling transactions.

A cross section of the shop owners who spoke to our correspondent at the Departure Hall of the Airport lamented said it’s difficult to break even under the current harsh economic environment.

According to one of the shop owners who didn’t want his full identity disclosed and simply identified himself as Mallam, told our correspondent the rent on the shops are high and excruciating relative to the commercial activities at the airport.

According to him, to get an open small space, you would need to pay some N800,000 as one off payment. Then subsequently, an annual rent still applies which is subject to change annually.

He also noted that people with bigger spaces pay as high between N1 million to N2 million.

He said to break even, a lot of them co-share shop space so they can spread the cost. “if you look around, some shops have about three different types of wares being sold. These wares are owned by different individuals and they share the rent. That’s the only way we survive here” he explained.

According to him, sales have been so bad that, sometimes in a week, they can’t make N10,000. “Because the rent is high, we are forced to sale at high costs and most people don’t buy. How many people can buy coke for N300? But that’s how much we sell coke. It’s sad really” he noted.

But the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said, they don’t consider their rent as too hgh as a lot of people are interested in opening shops at the airport.

Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN’s Deputy General Manager, Corporate Affairs and acting GM, Abuja airport told our correspondent on the phone that opening shop at the airport is a choice thing.

According to her, shops at the airport can’t cost the same like shops in the open market. “You don’t expect shops at Allen Avenue to cost the same as Balogun market” she said.

She also noted that, the shop owners applied to FAAN and FAAN gave them their rates adding that if they felt the rates were too much, they could have also rejected the offer.

“they must have done their feasibility studies and saw they could make profit before they rented our space. The rates are competitive enough” she concluded.

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