Shareholders of Total Nigeria Plc, yesterday, approved payment final dividend of 828 kobo per share for the year ended December 31, 2009. The company had earlier paid an interim dividend of 340 kobo per share, bringing the total dividend to N11.69 kobo.
Chairman of the company, Mr Stanislas Mittleman, explained in Lagos during the company’s yearly general meeting that the company’s turnover increased slightly from N177.4 billion recorded in 2008 to N178.6 billion within the year under review.However, he said profit after tax declined from N4.4 billion in 2008 to N3.9 billion in the year under review, adding that considering the challenges faced by the economy and the industry in 2009, the management of the company believes that “the result is relatively fair and demonstrates the resilience of the company in the face of adverse external factors”.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Dominique Thiolon, who also spoke at the event, said N4.2 billion has been voted by Total Nigeria Plc to upgrade its retain outlets and facilitates expansion agenda.Explaining further, Thiolon said about N1 billion from the sum would be devoted to boost its safety and logistics facilities. Mittleman said though the combined effect of the non-oil sector’s performance and the relative calm in the Niger Delta led to a slight improvement in Gross Domestic Product growth rate at 6.9 per cent, inflation remained in the two-digit rate.
According Mittleman, in the uncertain economic climate of 2009, normal product supply was disrupted by a combination of industrial labour action and official delays either in granting import permit or receiving payment under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF).Mittleman said the market for petroleum products in a country as large as Nigeria, would remain promising, provided the necessary framework for operational efficiency is established and actively supported by government.He said: “In the long-term, the most important factor for success in this sector will be transparency from all stakeholders, as well as consistency in policy formulation.
“These factors, working within a healthy socio-economic environment, will assure all players in the sector of measures of sustainable profitability for the future.“We wish to assure all our shareholders, customers and partners that the tougher the challenges faced by industry for now and in the future, the more innovative and efficient we shall become as a company”.He also used the opportunity to inform shareholders that within the year under review, the company recorded significant increases in the funding of training, welfare and staff development programmes for all employee throughout the year, resulting in in the training 72 per cent of work force across as well as in the establishment of clear career development path and welfare schemes.
In his submission, National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, while commending the management of the company for the result, advised all stakeholders to oppose plans to promulgate a law to set up a commission to manage unclaimed dividend.