Shareholders of Berger Paints Nigeria Plc last week approved the N116 million dividend for the 2020 financial year, translating to 40 kobo per share.
The dividend, which was an increase of 60 per cent above 25 kobo paid in 2019, was endorsed at the 61th annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.
Addressing the shareholders at the AGM held virtually, the Chairman, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc, Mr. Abi Ayida, explained that despite the headwinds such as impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on corporate activities and macroeconomic vagaries, revenue was up by 7.1 per cent from N3.58 billion in 2019 to N3.84 billion in 2020.
According to him, the proposed dividend of 40 kobo per share for the year demonstrates the company's unflinching commitment to the promises to shareholders.
"Our revenue was driven by volume growth despite the shutdown in economic activities, disruptions and environmental unrest and the loss of sales for about seven weeks in the year. Free cash flow remained strong at N529 million, representing 34 per cent from the preceding year.
"However, a proposed dividend of 40 kobo per the year demonstrates the company's unflinching commitment to the promises to shareholders. We are very conversant with the strategic threats being faced by manufacturers in Nigeria but we are equally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities," Ayida said.
The Managing Director, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc, Mr. Anjan Sircar, stated that the company leveraged strategic focus on the sales of premium products and inclusion of new business partners to sustain its operations in the face of dwindling raw materials due to forex scarcity in the review period.
"Whilst we have not fully overcome the impact of the pandemic. We are positive that the worst is behind us and we are positioned to maximise the opportunities for growth, not only in the Nigerian market but other markets facilitated by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
"Our world is increasingly digital, and we see it opening new and exciting opportunities for empowering our people and making business easier. We enter 2021 well positioned to further maximise opportunities technology provide for our business. We remain resilient," Sircar said.
Commenting on the company's performance, the National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, commended the board for declaring dividend of 40 kobo per share despite the inclement operating environment.
She noted that the company made comprehensive disclosure in its annual report as it will enable investors to make informed investment decision.
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