Nigerian Breweries Plc is set to pay shareholders a final dividend per share of N0.69 for 2020, the beer-maker said Friday, having paid an interim dividend of N0.25 in December.
That brings the total dividend declared for the year to N0.94, the lowest in at least 15 years, as Nigeria’s biggest brewer faces continuing pressure on its bottom-line.
Net profit in the nine months through September 2020 stood at N7.1 billion, 42.4 per cent weaker than the N12.2 billion reported in the same period of 2019.
The firm cited high inflationary pressure, increased excise duty and value added tax as well as the coronavirus pandemic as grounds for underwhelming performance in an October statement.
The N0.69 dividend is subject to the deduction of the relevant withholding tax and requires shareholders’ approval at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the firm, timed to hold on April 22, Nigeria Breweries said in a note to Nigerian Stock Exchange, seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
The N0.94 dividend declared for full year 2020 is well below a 10-year average of N3.55, which dwarfs it by almost 74 per cent.
In 2014, sales touched a peak of N307.23 billion since 2006 and are yet to return to that level.
A year before, the profit pool of the Nigerian beer market had reached its highest point in the period between 2000 and 2020 but fell to one of its lowest levels in that twenty-year period last year with adverse implications for the company, which owns the largest share of the market.
Factors ranging from currency devaluation and tax hikes to promotional intensity, consumer down trading and material cost inflation accounted for the profit pool decline.
“The Directors are also recommending to shareholders for their approval at the forthcoming AGM, a right of election for qualifying shareholders to receive new ordinary shares in the Company instead of the final dividend in cash. The election is required to be made on or before the 10th of April, 2021,” the brewer said.
“The reference share price for the purpose of determining the number of shares due to qualifying shareholders who elect for the share option will be a ten-day trading average of the company’s share price on the floor of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, starting on the 11th of March, 2021.”
Shares in Nigerian Breweries closed in Lagos on Friday at N59 per unit, recording no movement.
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