GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc has declared a special dividend of 8.4billion Naira representing N7.10 and a final dividend of 40k per share respectively for its shareholders in the year ended December 2017. The percentage increase in the dividend is driven by the growth in the GSK reserve level over the past few years, the accumulation of profits and the recent income from the divestment of its drinks business.
In the year under review, GSK revenue increased from ₦14.3 billion in 2016 to ₦16 billion. Profit before tax also increased from ₦185 million in 2016 to ₦1.1billion in 2017.
However, profit after tax fell to ₦486 million from ₦2.3 billion declared in the same period of 2016 due to higher tax payments and no fresh revenue from the disposal of the drinks business. Speaking at the 47th Annual General Meeting held at Muson Centre Onikan in Lagos, Mr. Edmund Onuzo, Chairman, Board of Directors, said GSK is committed to maximizing its investment.
“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” Onuzo said. Mr. Onuzo added 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”.
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.
On the change in leadership at GSK, Onuzo said it is part of the leadership succession plan of the company. In line with the changes in GSK, Onuzo reassured the shareholders that “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.”
At the meeting, the Board recommended for approval a final dividend of N478 million representing 40 kobo per 50 Kobo share and a special dividend of 8.491 billion representing 7.10 per share to be paid to shareholders.
The shareholders approved the Board’s recommendation and lauded the Board for its performance. The shareholders urged the management not to relent in their effort in this regard.