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Guinness shareholders approve N11.1b dividend, seek bonus


Shareholders of Guinness Nigeria Plc, yesterday, approved the payment of N11.1 billion dividends amounting to N7.50 kobo per share for the financial year ended June 30, 2009.

Speaking yesterday at the company's 59th yearly general meeting in Lagos, a cross section of the shareholders commended the management for remaining on the part of profitability despite various challenges.

Specifically, Chairman of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu said workers of the company should be commended for their dedication to duties.

He said over the years, workers of Guinness Nigeria Plc have continued to strive as part of measures to position the company for the challenges ahead.

Nwosu, who spoke on sundry issues, urged the management of the company to put structures in place aimed at paying bonus to shareholders at next year's yearly general meeting.

In his statement to shareholders, Chairman of the Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Babatunde Savage said Guinness Nigeria remains strong and stable with "impressive performance and great heritage."

He explained that within the period under review, the company made significant progress in all operational parameter.

"Our Managing Director, Devin Hainsworth, the leadership team and our over 1,000 employees have worked together successfully to execute the company's strategy, deliver on our commitments and position the company for future growth," said Salvage.

Briefing shareholders, Salvage explained that with strong brand and talented people, "we will continue to improve our processes to achieve excellence in project execution and service delivery in order to achieve accelerated growth."

Highlights of the results approved at the board meeting include a turnover of N89 billion, which represents an increase of 29 per cent over the previous year results and a trading profit of N19.81 billion, an increase of 25 per cent over the previous year.

The earnings per share also increased by 14 per cent to 918 kobo. Profit before tax grew by 11 per cent to N19 billion up from N17 billion.

Briefing the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recently, Salvage said the company has brought innovation into its business adding that Nigeria is now the second largest market for Guinness in the world.

He explained that with over 80,000 shareholders, Guinness has put necessary structures in place aimed at improving on its performance.

The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Devlin Hainsworth, attributed the company's performance in the financial year under review to "management winning strategy."

He said: "It is noteworthy that despite the harsh economic climate in the global and Nigerian economies and increased competitiveness, the shares of Guinness Nigeria has remained stable and attractive to investors. This demonstrates the quantum of confidence, which the discerning public has in Guinness Nigeria Plc".

Making reference to its key Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which falls under the "water of life scheme", Guinness said it has provided potable water for over 450,000 people in various communities in Lagos, Ogun, Benue, Abia and Oyo States between 2008/2009.

It added that roads have also been constructed in Benin City Edo State while about 16 students are presently benefiting from its scholarship scheme among others.

In order to maintain a shared perception of the company's goal, Hainsworth said Guinness is committed to communicating information to employees in as fast and effective a manner as possible.

"We consider this critical to the maintenance of team spirit and high employee moral," said Hainsworth.

He also explained that all efforts are geared towards providing a safe and conducive working environment for employees.


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