By PETER EGWUATU

Fidson Healthcare Plc’s shareholders have endorsed proposal by its Board of Directors to increase its authorised share capital from N750 million divided into 1.5 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N1.2 billion by creation of additional shares of 900 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each , ranking pari-passu in all respect with the existing ordinary shares.

The shareholders at the 14th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos gave their approval to increase in authorised share capital and also requested that rights issue be floated to shore up the company’s capital base.

Some of the shareholders who spoke the minds of others present at the meeting having endorsed all the resolutions put before them at the AGM, commended the company for the 12 kobo per share dividend declared for 2012, which translated to a total of N180 million as against 10 kobo per share declared in the year 2011,  totaling N150 million.

Specifically, Michael Cole from National Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Yakubu Titilayo, Alex Okoh and host of other shareholders said, “We commend our board and management for giving us 12 kobo dividend given the harsh operating environment the company operated in. However, we hope that the dividend will be higher next year to say N1.00 per share. We also commend efforts by the company in ensuring that our products are available in most pharmaceutical stores in the country.”

The shareholders cautioned the management to increase its effort at recovering more debts and demanded that hard copies of Annual Report be given to them in subsequent AGMs rather than the electronic copy. “We will prefer a rights issue than any other option of raising the capital base since our company is doing well. We will all support the offer,” the shareholders echoed.

Speaking, the Chairman of Fidson, Mr Felix Ohiewerei, said, “We commend the shareholders for your support and every issues raised will be looked into. Fidson recorded a turnover of N7.168 billion, about the same for the 18 months ended December 31, 2011. Profit after tax (PAT) was N206.889 million, earnings per share (EPS) grew from four kobo in 2011 (International Financial Reporting Standard) to 14 kobo in 2012.”

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