Lafarge WAPCO Cement Plc and Abbey Building Society Plc last week announced dividends for the 2009 financial year, thereby boosting the liquidity position of their shareholders.
Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) said in its weekly report that the Board of Directors of Lafarge WAPCO has recommended a dividend of N0.10 per share for the year ending December 31, 2009.Similarly, the Board of Directors of Abbey Building Society has recommended a dividend of N0.04 for the year ended October 31, 2009.
Although NSE did not make available the details of the audited results, it said that the date of closure of register of members of Lafarge WAPCO in respect of the dividend is May 17, 2010 while payment date is May 26, 2010. While some market operators said the dividend by Lafarge WAPCO is low, compared with the N0.60 paid last year, others said it is better than not paying anything all. They explained that the slash in the dividend could be due to the expansion programme, which is capital intensive.
The cement manufacturing firm got a N45 billion loan from 13 banks last year to finance the expansion project. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank and Standard Chartered Nigeria Limited led the consortium.Commenting on the facility, which was structured to support Lafarge WAPCO’s growth strategy of strengthening Nigeria’s domestic cement production, Managing Director of the company, Mr. George Lourandos, had said: “The deal is very significant because the Lakatabu project and many others like it is our company’s exercise in foresight. The deal shows that we are making progress on this project and we will continue to deal with its future.”
Also, Abbey Building recently secured a $10 million convertible loan from the Netherlands Development Corporation Company otherwise known as FMO, which would be used to enhance housing and mortgage facilities and estate developers as well as corporate organisations in their housing needs.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Abbey Building Society Plc, Mrs. Rose Okwechime, said that would go a long way in improving Nigeria’s ever increasing housing needs, enhance home ownership and generate employment. Stock dealers said that these financial supports should lead to better results and eventual higher return to investors in the years to come.
Meanwhile, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc has recorded a turnover of N26.2 billion for the third quarter ended December 31, 2009, as against N21.1 billion in the comparable period of 2008. Profit after tax soared by 307 per cent from N214 million to N871 million in 2008.