By Nse Anthony-Uko
ABUJA, (Sundiata Finance) – UAC of Nigeria Plc said it would be raising the sum of N15.4 billion through its existing shareholders to bolster its capital position. Also, the company rewarded shareholders with N1.92 billion dividend payout for the financial year ended December 31, 2016.
At the company’s annual general meeting held on Wednesday in Lagos, Chairman of UAC of Nigeria, Mr. Dan Agbor, said “in view of the company’s performance, the board recommended a dividend of 100 kobo per ordinary share in 2016 financial year.”
On the company’s financial performance, Agbor noted that “Despite the daunting challenges posed by the operating environment, the company was able to deliver a mixed to good result in 2016 through cost optimisation initiatives, innovation in key categories and extensive retail market expansion, all of which helped to offset further deterioration of margins during the year.
“Consequently, I am pleased to report that UAC recorded a group revenue of N84.61 billion in 2016, an increase of 15 per cent from the N73.77 billion of the previous year. Group profit after tax of N5.67 billion was achieved in 2016, an increase of 10 per cent over N5.16 billion of the previous year.”
Commenting on the capital requirements, the chairman stated “You will recall in the last Annual General Meeting held in 2016, I informed you that the board had taken a decision to discontinue the one for 12 Rights Issue that was approved at the 2015 annual general meeting, due to the prevailing market conditions.
“I also informed you that the board and management would undertake the required investment in, and financial restructuring of, your company’s subsidiaries using internally generated funds” he said.
The chairman stated “I am pleased to inform you that the rights issue of Portland Paints has been concluded while the rights issues of Livestock Feeds and UPDC are at various stages of execution, due to delayed regulatory approvals. Grand Cereals also plans to raise equity by way of a Rights Issue that your Company also intends to subscribe for.”
He noted that “The board has identified an urgent need to bolster your company’s capital position. This will ensure that your company is able to subscribe for these rights issues and provide its subsidiaries with working capital support in a timely manner, so that the subsidiaries can quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities.”
Commenting on the outlook for the year, Agbor stated, “In 2017 we will focus on consolidating the initiatives that we started in 2016, support growth and working capital through equity calls, unlock value through the realisation of under-performing assets and restructure the route to market architecture across the group.”