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Conoil explains N2 dividend


November 15, 2005/Source The Punch


Conoil Plc said on Tuesday that its decision to pay a dividend of 200kobo for the year ended December 31, 2005 was informed by the need to conserve funds to execute projects that would boost its operations and lead to higher returns in the future.

The company recorded earnings per share of 393kobo in 2004 but paid 200kobo. The 200kobo dividend has a cover of 1.59. Some operators had said that given the trend of relatively higher dividend paid by some other companies, Conoil Plc would have been able to pay more that 200kobo.

However, the Managing Director /Chief Executive officer of Conoil, Mr. Shina Tychus, explained in Lagos that Conoil was being prudent and building up reserves. According to him, the company wants to ensure that there is enough liquidity to execute the expansion projects being handled. He said that the company was making strategic investments in modern infrastructure aimed at adequately exploring the opportunities of emerging markets and setting new standard in service delivery.

A comparison of the company’s performance between 2003 and last year showed a 74 per cent increase in turnover from N34.5billion to N60billion. Profit after tax grew from N2.02billion in 2003 to N2.21billion in 2004.

Ther company’s general reserves grew from N29million in 2003 to N855million in 2004.

Meanwhile, price losses by some blue chip stocks made the stock market to remain bearish on Tuesday, as the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index dipped further to 25, 821.60, from its Monday level of 26,030.20.

Market capitalisation also dipped from N2.594trillion to close at N2.573trillion. And the major drivers of the bearish trend included Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, which dipped by 793kobo to close at N159.06. Texaco Nigeria followed with a 400kobo loss while Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc dropped 299kobo, 250kobo and 98kobo, respectively.

In all, 42 equities lost value as against 26 that appreciated. Oando Plc which is getting set for cross border listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange the price gainers with 183kobo to close at N105.83. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc continued to ride the waves of its improved third quarter result to new heights, gaining another 100kobo on Tuesday to close at N21 per share.

Investors traded a total of 120.377million shares worth N851.557milion in 5,527 deals.

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