Despite a harsh operating environment, Nigeria’s leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, has leveraged on its size and strength to post an impressive performance in 2019 financial year, with the shareholders approving a dividend payout of ₦16 per ordinary 50k share.
Excited representatives of shareholders at the virtual 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was held in Lagos yesterday commended the management for the company’s resilience to record the profit despite the global economic challenges.
Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Aliko Dangote, told the shareholders that the year 2019 was a strong year given the tough business environment across most of its operating geographies, disclosing that the group recorded volumes of 23.7 million metric tonnes and revenues of ₦891.7 billion.
He said: “We recorded a strong EBITDA margin of 44.3 per cent. As a result of this performance, the board has recommended for your approval a dividend of ₦16.00 per ordinary 50 kobo share.
“Nigeria’s cement market grew slightly in 2019. We estimate that total market consumption was up between two per cent and three per cent on the 20.7 Mt estimated in 2018.”
Dangote explained that the modest performance was in spite of the fact that the market generally was impacted negatively by the disruptions related to the 2019 election cycles, heavy rains and the loss in land export volumes due to the border closure.
“Dangote Cement’s Nigerian operations remained at 14.1Mt in 2019, including export sales of 0.45Mt. Domestic sales in Nigeria were nearly 13.7 Mt, compared to 13.4 Mt in 2019. This implies a two per cent growth mirroring the estimated GDP growth for the year. However, land exports reduced to 0.45Mt from 0.7Mt for the full year owing to the border closure in the last few months of 2019.
“The ‘Bag of Goodies’ promotion, launched in July, drove strong increases in our Nigerian volumes in the third quarter”, Dangote pointed out, adding that the innovative marketing effort enabled the company to maintain its market share despite the 4.5Mt new capacity which came into the market during the year.
He alluded to the new feat by Dangote Cement in commencing export of clinker via shipping from the Apapa and Onne ports to West and Central Africa, adding that the management was encouraged by the performance of its offshore operations.