Lafarge Africa Shareholders Approve N15.9b Dividend | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lafarge Africa Shareholders Approve N15.9b Dividend

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 12:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• Balogun Emerges New Chairman

Stories by Bamidele Ogunwusi

Lagos

 

Shareholders of Lafarge Africa Plc have approved the N15.855 billion dividend recommended by the Board of Directors for the year ended December 31, 2014. The shareholders, who gave the approval at the 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos, commended the board and management for the financial performance and payment of the dividend despite the challenging operating environment.

The N15.855 billion dividend translates into 360 kobo per ordinary share and it is nine per cent higher than the 330 kobo per share paid in 2013.

In his address to the shareholders, Chairman of Lafarge Africa, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 16 per cent in Nigeria when compared to 2013 of similar scope.

“All Nigerian entities showed strong growth with Ashaka Cement doubling its EBITDA following coal substitution increasing from 35 per cent to 70 per cent and overall increase in operational efficiency by 91 per cent and WAPCO by a solid eight per cent,” he said.

Osunkeye noted that the medium to long term outlook remains positive for Lafarge South Africa Holding(LSAH).

“The recent strengthening of Rand versus the Naira will increase the value of the South African profits to the Group, and is a testament to the advantages of having added Lafarge South Africa to the Group,” he said.

According to him, the creation of Lafarge Africa has transformed the company into a group which is well equipped to continue the acceleration of a group to withstand challenges in the market place.

“Our cement production capacity has grown from 4.5 million tons to about 12 million tons. In addition, 3.5 million cubic meters of ReadyMix concretes and over 5.0 million tons of Aggregates have been added to the portfolio. The turnover has doubled from N100 billion to N200 billion and the EBITDA has grown from N36 billion to N55 billion. N99 billion of cash was generated from operations in 2014. All of this is building the foundation which was laid over the last few years, and the transformation into Lafarge Africa Plc is a natural progression to take our company to the next level,” he said.

Also speaking, the Group MD/CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc,  Mr. Guillaume Roux  said  the good performance of the company was due to management’s commitment to corporate governance, innovation, customer service and cost efficiency. He assured the shareholders of continued efforts to delight them more in the current year.

Meanwhile, Osunkeye, who has retired from the company at the end of the AGM, noted that it was a privilege and honour to have served on the Board of the company for 14 years and as chairman for five years from October 2009.

He expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders and urged them to extend the same level of support to his successor, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun.

“Balogun is a seasoned and committed director with breadth of experience across finance, strategy and management. He is very familiar with Lafarge’s business in Nigeria and Africa and I am sure he is the right person to chair the Board going forward,” Osunkeye declared.