Dr. Mike Adenuga
By Eromosele Abiodun
Shareholders of Conoil Plc have commended the board and management of the company for its impressive financial performance despite what they described as the plethora of challenges and the harsh operating environment plaguing the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
The shareholders showered the commendation at the company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, General Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN),Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, remarked that the performance of Conoil during the period in review, further re-enforced investors’ confidence in the company.
“A closer look at the results showed very prudent management, strategic planning and cost control measures, resulting in growth and improved bottom-line, ”Adeleke said.
“The cash flow position of the company revealed a company that is very liquid to meet its obligations and explore more profitable opportunities,” the ISAN general secretary added.
The meeting ratified total dividend payment of N1.73 billion to shareholders, which implied a dividend payment of N2.50 per share, up from N2.00 paid in the preceding year.
The 25 per cent increase in cash pay-out was reflective of the improved performance of the company during the year in review as turnover rose by 53 per cent to N157.5 billion from N102.8 billion in the previous year.
Profit before tax also increased from N4.02 billion to N4.4 billion, while Profit after tax rose from N2.79 billion to N2.95 billion.
Conoil’s current dividend yield amounted to about 12 per cent and earnings yield of about 20 per cent, thus placing the company amongst the top-bracket of dividend paying stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The company’s earnings per share had been on the upward trend, increasing from N2.62 in 2008 to N3.33 and N4.02 in 2009 and 2010 respectively, while it increased cash dividend per share correspondingly from N1 in 2009 to N1.50 and N2 in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Conoil also posted a stronger balance sheet as retained earnings boosted shareholders’ funds to N16.82 billion in 2011 compared with N15.26 billion in 2010. Total assets rose by 49 per cent to N61.84 billion in 2011 as against N41.49 billion in 2010.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of Conoil Plc, Dr. Mike Adenuga, told shareholders that the remarkable performance demonstrated the company’s “well-grounded structures and the uniqueness to response to the volatility in the downstream sector.”
“We launched far-reaching initiatives to strengthen our income base in core segments of our business particularly in retail, lubricants, aviation, gas and specialised products. We pursued and sustained strategic expansion of our retail network across the length and breadth of the country,” Adenuga said.
The chairman also attributed the impressive performance to the company’s commitment to operational efficiency, adherence to corporate governance guidelines, strategic planning, pro-active investment and expansion policy.