Investors of GSK endorse firm’s N8.4b special dividend

Shareholders of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer (GSK) Nigeria Plc have endorsed the company’s special dividend of N8.49 billion translating to N7.10 per share and a final dividend of N478 million, culminating to 40 kobo per 50 kobo share for the 2017 financial year.

The shareholders, who spoke at the 47th yearly general meeting of the company, in Lagos, at the weekend, also urged the company to increase its local sourcing and expand the firm’s product base for enhanced profitability.

Specifically, the Co-Founder of Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, Gbadebo Olatokumbo, stressed the need for the management to increase its local brand, as well as sourcing of materials locally.

He added that this would help to reduce cost of sales and improve the company’s bottom line.

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.

The Chairman of the company, Edmund Onuzo assured shareholders that the company is committed to maximizing shareholders returns on investment.

He explained that the company’s revenue increased from ₦14.3 billion in 2016 to ₦16 billion, while profit before tax also increased from ₦185 million in 2016 to ₦1.1 billion 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.

“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 to investors via dividends is in line with this thinking on returns.

“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,” he said.

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