Investors laud Conoil’s N2bn dividend payout in recession

SHAREHOLDERS of Conoil Plc have applauded the company’s strong financial performance despite the difficult operating environment in the country.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting held at the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the shareholders expressed their delight that the foremost fuel marketing company was able to declare such dividend in spite of the difficult economic challenges in the country.

The final dividend payout ratified at the meeting translates to N3.00 on every 50 kobo ordinary share for the 2015 financial year, compared to N1.00 paid the previous year.

Sir Sunny Nwosu, founder of a shareholders’ advocacy group, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), expressed his appreciation to the board and management of the company for growing profit and increasing dividend payment at a time like this.

“This dividend reinforces the resilience of the company amidst the tough operating environment in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry characterised by scarce foreign exchange. It also speaks volume of the quality of the company’s management and its entire workforce,” Nwosu noted.

Another shareholder, Ambassador Olufemi Timothy, President, Renaisssance Shareholders’ Association, said he was surprised at the company’s performance in the midst of tight liquidity, rising cost of funds and the general tough operating environment in the downstream oil sector.

“It is very heartening that Conoil has not only braved the odds, it has remained committed to maximising shareholders’ value and delivered superior returns,” Ambassador Timothy noted.

Timothy Adesiyan, President of Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, also noted that Conoil, by its performance and dividend policy, has further earned the loyalty of its teeming shareholders.

“They have shown that they are not only concerned about making profit but that they have the interest of shareholders at heart,” he said.

In his end of year address to the shareholders, the Chairman of the company, Dr Mike Adenuga assured that Conoil would further consolidate on the gains recorded so far, and ensure better returns in the coming years.

Adenuga noted that while the operating environment was unfriendly, tough and rough, the company focussed on its strategies and strengths and the effort made it possible to record these positive results on all fronts.

“Our encouraging performance in the midst of adversities has further confirmed our determination to deliver strong results at all times to the satisfaction of our shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Adenuga.

Conoil recorded an increase in profit after tax from N834million in 2014, to N2.3billion in 2015. Its profit before tax also increased by 125 percent; from N1.5billion to N3.4billion. Its earnings per share rose by 177 per cent; from 120kobo in 2014, to 333 kobo in 2015.