Shareholders of Afriland Properties Plc have unanimously ratified the N68.695m recommended by the company’s directors as dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The dividend, translating to 5k per share was approved by the shareholders during the company’s 8th Annual General Meeting in Lagos, on Monday.
A shareholder, Sir Sunny Nwosu, who spoke at the meeting, commended the management of the company for keeping up with activities despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant effect on major businesses.
While advising the company to gear up efforts to increase dividends in the next financial year, Nwosu praised Afriland’s effort at increasing its retained earnings as well as its efforts at resuscitating the former Raymond House building into the iconic building now known as Afriland Towers, which according to him holds a pride of place in the Lagos business district.
Another shareholder, Bisi Bakare, commended the fact that the business kept busy during the peak of the pandemic, as it recorded the completion of several projects during the year under focus, which culminated in its declaration of a modest profit at the end of the financial year.
Chairman, Afriland Properties, Emmanuel Nnorom, appreciated the shareholders for their commendations as well as their words of advice, broke down the performance of the company, and explained that the global pandemic and the resultant lockdown also took a turn on its business activities.
He said: “The Real estate industry was affected negatively by the pandemic as public and private properties such as offices, apartments, hotels, sports, and entertainment venues were singled out as potential spreading locations for the novel coronavirus. These places were either shut down or had restrictions imposed. Several projects were commenced and completed in the year under review. As of 31 December 2020, the company had over forty-one (41) projects in different locations in the country and at various stages of completion.
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“Our performance during the year was affected by the events in the larger economy, however, we will further strengthen our balance sheets and business model this year by tapping into the opportunities that will be created in the building and construction sector,” Nnorom said.
In the year under consideration, the company recorded a revenue of N1.42billion, representing a marginal 4 per cent reduction from N1.48billion achieved in 2019. Profit before tax stood at N1billion against the N1.3billion in 2019. Total assets for the year ended 31 December 2020 was N27.07billion representing an increase of 9 per cent as against the N24. 86billion recorded in 2019.
Afriland’s Chief Executive Officer, Uzoamaka Oshogwe, who also spoke at the meeting, said the company was ploughing back most of its funds to be able to generate more profits for its business and the shareholders, adding that Afriland will continue to explore more ways to ensure that the business remains profitable.
She said: “During the year under review, we commenced and completed the construction of some offices nationwide while significant progress was made on other non-proprietary projects; and we have positioned your company to take advantage of government’s policy direction; optimise future rental income from our proprietary properties and to actively pursue an aggressive development of select properties for residential and commercial purposes, with a view to maximizing shareholders wealth.
On plans for the future, Oshogwe said: “We will continue to explore the possibility of partnering with reputable organizations with a view to optimizing our property portfolio and thus delivering superior value to shareholders.