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Costain raises shareholders’ hope over dividend

By Franklin Alli
The Board of Director of Costain(West Africa) PLC,  has raised its shareholders’ hope for dividend payment during their 62nd annual general meeting next year.

It ‘ll be recalled that  the construction firm has not  declared a dividend for ten years, a situation which the company’s Finance Director, Mr. Harm Ploeger, blamed on bad debts and heavy losses  recorded by the company  during the periods under review.

Nevertheless, the Finance Director told journalists in Lagos, Friday, that the Board is set to deliver returns to shareholders, hinging optisim on new contracts the company secured recently top of which was the N12 billion Jebba-Kano rail line contracted secured from the  Nigerian Railway Corporation, which, he believes would go a long way to improve the fortunes of the company and be able to deliver returns to shareholders.

Stock analysts say  market might soon react to the N12 billion  railway contract by jerking up the company’s share price currrently peaking at N7.33 kobo per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

“The Board has  started discussing how to  compensate shareholders  during next year’s financial year ended(FYE) March 31, 2010,” Ploeger said.

He affirmed that despite the losses of prevuious years , the company is  now on the march to achieving  better results in the next year stating: ‘We expect higher profitability on our cureent projects and possible recovery of some of the debts.”

According to Managing Director/CEO, Ayodeji Karim, descirbed the  Jebba-Kano rail rehabilitation project as one of the biggest contract the company has secured recently.

other new contracts the company’s alsomworking on includes  the constructionof the Nigerian Stock Exchange building in Port Harcourt,  construction of a multi-storey block for Cityscape in Rainbow City , also in Port Harcourt, including expansion of residential building  for the Watch Tower Branch Office, Igieduma, Edo State, as well as Watari Water Treatment Plant in Kano State, among others.

Fielding questions on update on the rail line project, Mark Stephens, Operations Director,  stated: “We’ll complete work on the project December 25.  he said that in order to meet the targeted date they have split works into six section and have deployed their team of dedicated Engineers, and cutting -edge technologies to sites.


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