Shareholders of Lafarge Africa Plc as part special resolution at the 59TH Annual General Meeting have endorsed the company’s quest to raise fresh N100 billion for its operations. This is just as the shareholders also approved a dividend payout N1.50 per share to its shareholders valued N13 billion.
The approved dividend represents a 45 kobo increase per share on the 2016 dividend and is payable net of applicable taxes.
They endorsed that subject to the regulatory approval, the Board of Directors are authorized to raise additional capital of up to N100 billion through an offer of debt and/or equity in the domestic and/or international capital markets to be carried out in such manner, at such time, for such consideration and upon such terms and conditions as the Board of Directors may deem fit.
Speaking at the AGM, the Chairman Mr. Mobolaji Balogun said the dividend payout is in appreciation of the support shown by the shareholders so far and a worthy return on their investments.
“The Board of Directors is mindful of the support of all our shareholders through the difficult but necessary journey to transform the company into a more agile and correctly financed business ready to benefit from the potential opportunities in Nigerian building materials (market),” Balogun said at the well-attended AGM of Lafarge Africa Plc.
He also assured shareholders that restructuring of the capital structure of the company largely completed through the past year would help to significantly reduce the cost of financing and currency translation risk.
Balogun added that the company’s recent N131.6 billion Rights Issue, the largest ever Rights Issue in Nigeria which was also fully subscribed, has helped to significantly reduce the FX debt exposure by 50% and the Board of Directors is already reviewing options to deal with the remaining FX debt.
He announced that the company is implementing a new route-to-market initiative aimed at supporting the anticipated growth in demand as the country gradually recovers from recession and as foreign exchange rates stabilise.
Also speaking at the event, the Country Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Michel Puchercos expressed optimism about the performance of Lafarge Africa Plc during the current year.
He pointed out that the Q1 results for 2018 show stability in the market and operations which have kept revenues steady in the past quarter. “Improvement plans in Nigeria delivered strong operational performance while turnaround actions will be consolidated further in 2018 through energy optimization as well as commercial and logistic improvement,” Mr Puchercos said.