Presco to Pay N1bn Dividend Despite 55% Fall in Profit

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The directors of Presco Plc has recommended a dividend of N1 billion dividend for the year ended December 31, 2015 despite a fall of 55 per cent in profit after tax (PAT) for the year.

Details of the audited results of Presco made available on Tuesday showed that the company posted a revenue of N10.448 billion in 2015, up by 14 per cent from N9.138 billion in 2014. Cost of sale increased by 19 per cent from N3.119 billion to N3.813 billion, while gross profit rose by 12 per cent from N5.938 billion in 2014 to N6.635 billion.

Profit before tax fell by 46 per cent to N4.215 billion, from N7.900 billion, while PAT fell by 55 per cent from N5.194 billion to N2.321 billion. The fall in profit was affected by a drop in gains on biological assets revaluation, which fell by 82 per cent from N5.773 billion to N1.062 billion.

Also, the company spent more on financial charges in 2015, compared with 2014. Finance cost by 49 per cent rose from N363 million to N707 million in 2015.

Despite the fall in bottom line, the company recommended a dividend of N1 billion, which translate to 100 kobo per share.

The Edo State based Presco Plc specialises in the cultivation of oil palms and in the extraction, refining and fractioning of crude palm oil into vegetable oil and palm stearin. The company operates from two States, Obaretin Estate and Ologbo Estate in Edo State and Cowan Estate in Delta State.

Meanwhile, the stock market closed lower yesterday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index shedding 0.7 per cent to be at 25,646.56.

The negative performance stemmed from losses recorded by bellwether counters across sectors including Dangote Cement Plc, Forte Oil Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and FBN Holdings Plc. Apart from the NSE ASI that fell by 0.7 per cent, market capitalisation shed N62.5 billion to close at N8.8 trillion.

However, in terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Consumer Goods rose 1.0 per cent on the back of gains by Unilever Nigeria Plc. Similarly, the NSE Banking Index appreciated by 0.6 per cent given the gains recorded by Diamond Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

Conversely, the NSE Oil & Gas Index, NSE Industrial Goods Index and NSE Insurance Index fell by 1.6 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively.