UACN gets shareholders’ approval to pay N3.3bn dividend

UAC of Nigeria Plc on Wednesday got the approval of its shareholders to pay N3.3bn as dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2014. The amount translates into N1.75 per ordinary share of 50 kobo.

The shareholders approved the dividend in Lagos at the company’s Annual General Meeting, where the Board of Directors explained that it was considering a strategic shift in its policy drive in order to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the country.

The Chairman, UAC of Nigeria, Senator Udo Udoma, told the shareholders that the company’s performance was positive in 2014, despite the economic challenges the country faced during the year.

In 2014, Udoma said, the company grew its top line by nine per cent to N85.7bn, from N78.7bn in 2013 with the pre-tax profit rising from N13.9bn to N14.1bn.

On the dividend payment, he said, “In spite of the prevailing tough economic conditions, we are maintaining our prior year dividend pay-out. Hence, the Board is pleased to recommend for your approval a dividend of N3.3bn or 175 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each, less withholding tax for the financial year ended December 31, 2014.”

According to Udoma, the company has continued to manage market dynamics and innovatively lead competition in its markets.

On some of the areas where UACN made significant gains, he said, “In the year under review and in line with our vision to be number one in our chosen markets, we achieved market leadership with our Vital Fish feed brand, which was introduced just three years ago.

“To further consolidate on our technology improvement initiative, capacity and efficiency in our operations, three new plants were commissioned including a new feed mill at the Ikeja plant of Livestock Feeds Plc, an automated pie line for the restaurants business and a new processing and packaging technology for Supreme Ice Cream.”

Udoma also said that in line with the company’s business transformation process, it had fully implemented both the new SAP enterprise resource software across the group and the enterprise risk management framework to enhance the control environment of its business.

He added, “We are already seeing value from the outsourcing of our internal audit function and whistleblowing mechanism. These initiatives have strengthened corporate governance at all levels of the business and in our joint-venture operations.”

To position the company to seize emerging opportunities and achieve sustained growth, Udoma said the management was realigning its portfolio and making strategic shifts where necessary.

He said, “We are also selectively expanding our capacity to meet customer demand in our logistics operations. We will continue to focus on innovation and seek opportunities to introduce new offerings into our portfolio of brands as well as build capacity in our people and strengthen synergies within our businesses.”

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