Shareholders of Dangote Cement Plc on Wednesday commended the Management of the company for an impressive performance despite the economic challenges in the year under review. Unanimously, the shareholders approved N272.6 billion as dividend, translating to N16 per share for the year ended December 31, 2020. The 16 per cent increase in the company’s revenue led to a 36 per cent increase in its earnings per share of N16.14 as against N11.29 in 2019. The shareholders at the virtual 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos commended the management for the full disclosure provided for the year, share buyback process and the various donations made at COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking on behalf of shareholders, the founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sir Sunny Nwosu commended the company for attaining a trillion-naira revenue growth, saying that the Company is moving in the best way of corporate governance.
He appealed to the Company to prevail on its numerous distributors who arbitrarily sell cement at very high costs as against the real factory price, thereby making so much profit for themselves. Also, a shareholder, Non Awoh applauded the board for the consistency in dividend payout, urging the board to consider payment of dividend twice a year. Speaking to shareholders, Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote assured the shareholders of better returns always, noting that the company is doing everything possible to create wealth for its shareholders and other stakeholders. He further said despite the challenging year surrounding by COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a record year for us across board.
“Dangote Cement hit the N1 trillion mark in term of revenue. Group revenues were up 16 per cent compared to 2019. We record Group cement sales of 25.7 million tonnes (Mt) and revenues of N1.034 trillion. Most notably was our record high EBITDA of N478.1 billion, up 20.9 per cent compared to 2019…” Dangote said that the board maintains the 2019 dividend of N16 per share, reinforcing its commitment to maximising shareholder value. Also, the chairman said, “In 2020, we commissioned our Apapa and Onne export terminals in Nigeria and commenced clinker exports to West and Central Africa. The vision for our exporter strategy is to make West and Central Africa cement and clinker self-sufficient, with Nigeria as the main supplier and exporter. We also remain focused on meeting the demand in Nigeria and as such, we increased our capacity by three metric tonnes (MT) on Obajana and we commissioned our gas-fired power plant in Tanzania. “Our Nigerian domestic operations sold 15.6Mt, up 14.3 per cent year-on-year, growing ahead the market. This strong volume growth was enhanced by our successful innovative national consumer promotion ‘Bag of Goodies- Season 2’, lower rains in the Q3 compared to the previous year and the low interest rate environment driving strong demand for real estate assets and supporting the construction sector.
“Pan-Africa volumes were up by 4.4 per cent to 10.0Mt despite the various lock-downs and restrictions in 2020. The Pan-African region achieved a record high EBITDA of N71.3 billion, up 49.0 per cent, notably supported by strong performance in Ethiopia and Senegal.” On outlook for 2021, Dangote said the Company remains optimistic about the future, saying that the board is considering all strategic and financial options for the company. “We will continue to improve our efforts in sustainability by applying ‘The Dangote Way’ to the seven Sustainability Pillars of our business culture and operations. We are also focused on increasing capacity in the Nigerian market and building grinding plants across West and Central Africa to be fed clinker from Nigeria.” He noted further that, “We welcome the Africa Free Trade Agreement which supports our export strategy and long-term growth in Africa. Dangote Cement is well positioned to capture demand driven by the economic recovery in 2021, as the region recovers from the impact of the pandemic and all our countries of operation return to growth.”
Also, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Dangote Cement Plc, Michel Puchercos said that despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a record year for Dangote Cement across board. On share buyback, he stated that Dangote Cement is constantly exploring ways of creating value for its shareholders, in addition to its consistent dividend and capital appreciation. He said: “The company has also been pursuing several options such as the share buyback programme to return cash to its shareholders.” He added that, “Our strategy is to make the company more attractive to investors in the near term and for future long-term growth.” Puchercos said that, “The outlook for the company is very positive as we are focused on meeting the demand locally and across Africa. We look forward to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement supporting our export strategy to West and Central Africa.”