SHAREHOLDERS OF TOTAL NIGERIA, unanimously endorsed payment of N4.75 billion final dividends recommended by the company’s board for December 31, 2018, ended financial year. The approval came, Thursday, at the 41st Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the company, held in Lagos.
Subject to deduction of withholding tax, the approved dividend is N14 per share. Total Nigeria had earlier distributed N1.02 billion as interim dividends – representing N3 per share. Turnover in 2918, increased to N307 billion, compared with N288 billion in 2017. Profit after tax is N7.96 billion, compared with N8.01 billion in 2017.
Sunny Nwosu, Founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, on behalf of shareholders, at the AGM, commended the company for consistent and enhanced dividend, despite unfriendly operating environment. He said the company continued to regularly pay dividend in spite of proliferation of taxes, late payment of subsidy and high cost of operation.
Another shareholder, at the AGM, Matthew Akinlade, said government, as a regulator, should not be competing with operators in the downstream sector. He said unemployment rate would continue to grow if government continued to muscle power with operators in the downstream.
Stanislas Mittelman, Total Nigeria Chairman, described 2018, as challenging year for the company, downstream petroleum sector and the country at large. The key challenges were security issues, delayed payment under the Petroleum Support Fund scheme, high cost of investment, reduced capital inflows and weakening crude oil prices, Mittelman added.
Total Nigeria continued to experience sustained pressure on cash flow due to late payment of subsidies resulting in huge financial expenses. “All of these add significant costs to doing business, had negative impact on our sales and affected our profitability,’’ Mittelman said.
He said the company entered into storage arrangement in Lagos area, to allow it seize opportunities in line with its import and logistics optimisation strategy. And added: “We signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with a manufacturing company in Ogun State to provide 999kWp solar hybrid solution”.
Mittelman said, the company would continue to strengthen its solar business to boost profit as well as increase dividends payable to shareholders. He said 55 stations were now powered by solar energy, with a combined capacity of 1MW, and produced more than one gigawatt hour of clean electricity.
He assured that the company would consolidate on its past achievements and deliver value to shareholders and other stakeholders.