By Nkiruka Nnorom
SHAREHOLDERS of NASCON Allied Industries Plc have approved a dividend payout amounting to N1.85 billion or 70 kobo per share earlier recommended by the Board of Directors for the year ended December 2016. They gave the approval at the company’s Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, and urged the Board to also consider rewarding the shareholders through issuance of bonus shares in the course of the current financial year.
Sir Sunny Nwosu, who spoke on behalf of other shareholders, emphasised the need for the company to get more share of the salt, vegetable oil and tomato paste market. He, therefore, urged the company to take steps to increase the penetration of its products in the marketplace through aggressive marketing.
Speaking earlier, the chairperson, Mrs. Yemisi Ayeni, said that the dividend declared during the year represents 77 per cent pay-out ratio compared to N1.46 billion paid a year earlier. She lamented the difficulties in the operating environment during the year, saying that efforts to source sufficient raw materials locally to feed two of its manufacturing plants – crude palm oil, CPO, and triple tomato concentrate, which are two of the restricted items from the official forex window, did not yield any meaningful result.
“As such, we have to mothball these operations to ensure overall business efficiency. Despite the absence of these two major raw revenue drivers, our focus on expanding our salt business and conquering new markets through our seasoning business ensured that we were able to cover for the lost volume from vegetable oil and tomato paste, resulting in a significant improvement in overall performance of our company,” she said.
Speaking at the AGM also, the Managing Director, Paul Farrner, stated: “We recorded significant growth across our business with each of the segments delivering strong performance. In seasoning, we recorded a remarkable 140 per cent incremental growth over the previous year.”
A peep into the 2016 financial result showed that the company recorded N18.2 billion turnover representing a 13 per cent increase over N16.18 billion in the previous year.