By Bamidele Famoofo
Nigeriaâ€™s foremost indigenous offshore logistic services provider, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, has declared a dividend of 15 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for its shareholders during its 9th Annual General Meeting in Lagos. Caverton, which was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange four years ago, grew profit after tax by 328 per cent, from N612.28 million in the financial year ended December 31, 2016 to N2.62 billion in the review financial year ended December 31, 2017. Profit before tax increased by N2.81 billion or 256 per cent, from N1.10 billion in 2016 to N3.91 billion in 2017.
The Caverton executives were shrewd in cost management in the review financial year to achieve a robust bottom-line, as revenue only grew marginally by 6.4 per cent to N20.54 billion in 2017 compared to N19.31 billion recorded in 2016.
Over the years, the group has positively impacted the socio-economic development of the country through various stakeholders, client, employees and communities alike. Its global workforce has equally grown remarkably with just below 700 employees in West Africa. With its rapid expanding fleet of aircraft and vessels coupled with its acquisition of key offshore assets and strategic partners, the group is able to provide a diverse range of services to its clients ensuring objectives are completely fulfilled, offshore to land.
COSG also takes pride in putting safety and quality at the core of its business and has been rewarded for this by its growing customer base. In September 2014, Shell Petroleum Development Company awarded the company the Shell â€œSafety Conscious Awardâ€, in recognition of its safety conscious effort.
Welcoming stakeholders to this yearâ€™s meeting, the chairman of Caverton Group, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola, said the impressive record of the companyâ€™s increase in revenue was due to stability of the exchange rate, Nigerian economic growth due to massive government intervention in the agriculture sector, and a ramp up in oil production.
Makanjuola also gave a pass mark to the companyâ€™s financial performance, in spite of enormous challenge of economic environment in 2017. He attributed this to continued effective execution of his teamâ€™s strategy as they innovate and break barriers to boost bottom line in building a client-centric group and generate sustainable long-term value of shareholders.
As he professes a prosperous business future in 2018 and beyond, Makanjuola seized the opportunity to thank the Cavertonians for their value contributions and deep commitment to the company.
Thanking the shareholders for their continued support, Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Bode Makanjuola, assured them that the company would continue to wax strong. â€œIn 2017, throughout a period of profound political and economic change around the world, our company remained steadfast in dedication to our clients in the host communities we serve while earning a fair return for our stakeholders. Also, our financial results for year ended 2017 displays positive performance, confirming our companyâ€™s ethos to deliver a cost effective and efficient service to our customers,â€ he said.
The CEO added, â€œOur desire is to continue to be a strong and financially sustainable group that puts our stakeholders at the heart of everything we do.â€
Though shareholders of Caverton Offshore Support Group believed their company could do better in the years ahead, they applauded the Board of Directors of the group for paying a dividend of 15 kobo per share in the review financial year.
A shareholder affiliated to the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Moses Ogundeji, at the Annual General Meeting of the group held at the Civic Centre in Lagos penultimate Tuesday, praised the company for paying 15 kobo per share as dividend, but urged the Board of Directors to make the largesse better subsequently. Another shareholder, Mr. Patrick Ajugo, however, said the company must come up with a transparent dividend policy. But Ajugo commended the company for the excellent performance of its marine business, which he said must be given a greater attention.
One of the shareholders, Mr. Nona Awoh, had a reservation on the ability of the company to sustain the dividend declared. Awoh said the business the group was capital intensive and needed all the capital available to grow its businesses at the moment.
Meanwhile, Makanjuola is confident that Caverton will improve on its revenue as well as bottom-line. He said more contractors signed by the company in 2017 will boost revenue, and revealed that Caverton Offshore Support Group was able to add 11 new helicopters to its fleet by April 2018, which would further boost its revenue base.