Fidson shareholders’ approve N75 million total dividend

Sunny Nwosu

Sunny Nwosu

For increasing shareholders value on investment through dividend payout and adherence to corporate governance principles, shareholders’ of Fidson Healthcare Plc, on Wednesday, commended the company’s board on its 2015 performance, as they approve a total dividend of N75 million, translating to five kobo per share.

The shareholders’, who spoke at then 17th yearly general meeting in Lagos on Wednesday, noted that the company did not incur any bad debt within the period under review, despite the economic headwinds.

Specifically, the President of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu lauded the management in its efforts to ensure that there was no debt overhang despite the current challenges of accessing foreign exchange. 

He, however, urged the company to do everything within its powers to improve on the dividend payout in the next financial year.Another shareholder, Robert Igwe who noted that the company’s Earning per Share (EPS) increased by 19 per cent to 50 kobo in 2015 from 42 kobo in 2014, just as shareholder’s fund appreciated by 10 per cent to N6.3 million, also urged the firm to do everything within its powers to reward shareholders with a more robust dividend.

Reviewing its performance, the Chairman of the company, Felix Ohiwerei explained that the decrease in the dividend payout was a decision to conserve more capital to run the business as the economic situation especially availability of foreign exchange which has impeded on running business in Nigeria, Fidson not been excluded. 

He further explained that if the decision to conserve capital were not taking, the company would resolve to borrow which would not be of benefit to the shareholders, as the company would be working for the bank rather than for the shareholders. 

Ohiwerei had said the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET) in Nigeria had placed higher tariff on the importation of raw and packaging materials than on finished good, thus putting local production at the advantage against importation. 

He however noted that despite the varying challenges, Fidson Healthcare Plc continued to play as one of the leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry and had been prudent in managing the operating cost, saying in the financial year ended 31 December, 2015, operating profit of the company increased by six per cent from N1.431 billion in 2014 to N1.516 billion. 

Turnover of the company for 2015 declined by 15.52 per cent to N8.2 billion from N9.7 billion recorded in 2014, while gross profit stood at N4.4 billion compared with N5.4 billion made in 2014, showing a decline of 19.9 per cent. 

“With the improved operating facility and continued prudent management of resources, the board and management are optimistic that the company will continue to be profitable.

‘However, note has to be taken of the constraining ugly factors that are currently rearing their heads in 2016, such as declining value of the Nairs, high inflation and increasing cost of production.”

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