Shareholders in Dangote Cement Plc approved dividends of N136.3 billion as declared by the company for the financial year ended December 31, 2015.
The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s 7th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday.
The dividends translated into N8 per share compared to N6 paid in 2014.
In a speech at the meeting, Bisi Bakare, the National Coordinator of Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the company for the improved dividends and results declared during the period under review.
Bakare said the company was creating employment opportunities through its expansion programme within and outside the country, lauding the board and management of the company for their expansion programme aimed at National growth and development.
“As a giant of Africa, the financial support given to our subsidiaries by the company will go a long way in developing other countries where we have interest,” she said.
Another shareholder, Boniface Chikezie, paid glowing tribute to the management for protecting the interest of the shareholders, saying that the 33 per cent growth in the dividends declared in spite of the challenging operating environment was the highest in the industry.
Responding, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the company’s Chairman, said the company would continue to maintain 74 per cent dividends payout ratio in order to deliver good returns to shareholders.
Dangote said the company would also manage its finances in order to take advantage of opportunities inherent in Africa.
He explained that 2015 was a year of successful growth and transformation for the company both in geographic diversification and operational management.
“Plants that we have been building for three years are opening across Africa and promptly achieving outstanding successes in their respective markets,” the chairman said.
Dangote added that the new factories opened in Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Zambia made their first contributions to the business in 2015.
He noted that the company’s volumes rose by 35 per cent to 18.9 million tonnes, while the group’s revenues grew to N491.7 billion against N391.6 billion recorded in 2014, an increase of 25.6 per cent.
He also said sales volumes in Nigeria grew by 3.2 per cent to 13.3 million tonnes, with revenues of N389.2 billion compared to N371.5 billion in 2014, a growth of 3.2 per cent.
The chairman added that the company was making plans to strengthen its presence in Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Zambia as part of the next wave of expansion announced in September 2015.
Dangote said the company would pursue the strategy in the coming years to increase its size and scale across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The company declared a profit after tax of N181.3 billion against the N151.5 billion posted in 2014.
The profit represented a growth of 13.67 per cent when compared to figures for 2014.
The company’s profit before tax stood at N188.3 billion compared to N184.7 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2014.
A further breakdown of the results indicated that the company declared a revenue of N491.7 billion compared to N391.6 recorded in 2014, an increase of 26 per cent.