By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Shareholders of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc have approved the payment N8.491 billion special dividend and the N478 million final dividend proposed by the board of directors of the consumer goods firm.
The approval was given at the 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held at Muson Centre Onikan in Lagos, chaired by Chairman of GSK Nigeria, Mr Edmund Onuzo.
A breakdown showed that the N8.491 billion special dividend represents N7.10k per share, while the N478 million final dividend represents 40k per share for the year ended December 2017.
According to Mr Onuzo, the rise in the dividend payment was as a result of recent income from the divestment of its drinks business, increase in the GSK reserve level over the past few years and accumulation of profits by the firm.
“For us as a company, maximizing shareholder’s return is high on our agenda. Given our current cash position and with money set aside for local manufacturing investment, returning cash back to investors via dividends is in line with this thinking on returns” Mr Onuzo said.
He stated further that, “Following the successful divestment of our drinks business, we have been able to cash-in on the returns from the divestment.
“We have tightened our portfolios, drove investment behind our power brands and we are now better focused and aligned with our global business. We are glad this has yielded the right dividend particularly for our esteemed shareholders.
“GlaxoSmithKline is committed to Nigeria for the long term. We have confidence in the continuing growth prospects of the business and we are focused on restructuring for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
In 2017, GSK upgraded its facilities across its production lines and drove various innovative projects to increase reach in order to deliver long-term growth in Nigeria.
A look at the company’s performance last year showed that its revenue increased to N16 billion from N14.3 billion in 2016.
Also, the profit before tax increased from N185 million in 2016 to N1.1billion in 2017, but the profit after tax dropped to N486 million from N2.3 billion two years ago.
This was due to higher tax payments in 2017 with no fresh revenue made from the disposal of the drinks business.
At the meeting, the shareholders lauded the board for its performance and urged the management not to relent in their effort in this regard.
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