By Peter Egwuatu
Total Nigeria Plc has stated that access to Foreign Exchange (forex) remains a huge challenge in its petroleum marketing business despite the removal of oil subsidy by the Federal Government. The company has also declared a N12.00 per share dividend, having paid an interim dividend of N2.00 per share, thus making it a total of N14.00 per share dividend declared for the financial year ended December 31, 2015.
Speaking at the company’s 38th Annual General Meeting, AGM in Lagos, weekend, Chairman, Total Nigeria Plc, Mr. Momar Nguer said “The year under review was fraught with difficulties as we faced several hurdles both prior to and post importation of petroleum products in Nigeria.
We are still not free from difficulties, as access to forex remains a huge challenge despite the removal of subsidy, which has made the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS to increase to N145 per litre.”
According to him “Government has opened the market as anybody can import PMS by sourcing forex at the parallel market and not through official window. This is still a huge challenge for the industry. Notwithstanding, the challenging circumstances, At 60 years of our operations in Nigeria, we believe that we have the capability to succeed.
This of course can only be achieved with the support of all stakeholders.” Commenting on the financial performance of the company, Nguer, who presided the meeting being the last for him as a chairman said “Because of the challenges that the company faced during the year under review, turnover reduced by 13.5 per cent from N240.6 billion in 2014 to N208 billion; Profit After Tax, PAT reduced by 23.5 per cent from N5.3 billion to N4.05 billion; Interest expenses was N1.8 billion and 31.7 per cent lower than the previous year mainly due to lower overdrafts utilised in comparison with 2014.”
In their comments at the meeting, shareholders that spoke commended the effort of the company to declare dividend despite the harsh operating environment. They further advised the management to be proactive in the management of its resources and cautioned that impairment should be curtailed as well as expenses of all kinds. The shareholders commended the outgoing Chairman for his contribution towards the growth of the company.