Nigeria : NB’s ‘share-for-cash dividend’ to ease profit repatriation challenge

  • 13 April 2022 / News / 518 / Fares RAHAHLIA

Nigeria : NB’s ‘share-for-cash dividend’ to ease profit repatriation challenge

Company proposes N12.9 billion total dividend

Succour may have come the way of foreign investors that experience dividend repatriation challenges as Nigerian Breweries Plc have created a share-for-cash dividend scheme that would enable investors to reinvest in the company and buy new shares with their dividends.

Also, the company has recommended a total dividend of N12.9 billion, culminating in N1.60 per share due to every shareholder of the company for the 2021 financial year.

Under the share-for-cash arrangement, both local and foreign investors would have the opportunity to either receive cash or buy new shares with their dividends, while those that opt for the new shares are expected to complete a share-for-cash dividend election scheme form before April 12, 2022.

With the prevailing dollar shortage, which has continued to bite hard in Nigeria, foreign investors in the company may not need to go through the rigours of dividend repatriation as the scheme offers leeway to them.

At the company’s 2021 pre-AGM briefing held in Lagos yesterday, the Company Secretary/Legal Director, Uaboi Agbebaku, said: “This is the third year we are doing this. What we saw in the second year was that there was a remarkable improvement over the first time.

“More people are beginning to appreciate the benefit of doing this and so we expect that this year, there would be a higher uptake in terms of the number of investors that will opt for the scheme.

As for whether the scheme has come to stay, the situation might not necessarily be the same as we had when we took the decision and that will determine whether we want to keep it or not,” he said.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Hans Essaadi bemoaned the high cost of living and increased price in cost of fuel, particularly diesel which is currently slowing the growth of the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

However, he assured that the company was poised to maintain its leadership position in the industry, despite the prevailing foreign exchange (FX) challenges and the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which has resulted in a steep rise in the price of crude oil and grains.

According to him, the company had also remained dynamic and resilient with its processes, which has enabled it to weather the storm in the past 75 years.

“The deteriorating forex situation has led to foreign suppliers running out of patience with their Nigerian partners, mostly manufacturers who are finding it difficult to settle their rising foreign payables.

“Our outstanding foreign payables rose by 76 per cent in 2021 and due to lack of FX, the task of procuring input materials has been arduous and this hampered the completion of our capacity extension plan.

“With the re-introduction of excise duty on non-alcoholic beverages and increase in excise duty rate for alcoholic beverages, these additional costs will lead to an increase in the price of the finished product.

“Volatility in the brewery sector is expected but we feel confident in our ability to grow and we have our pricing strategy as well as the cost and value agenda to maintain leadership in the market as well as sustain shareholders’ value and meet consumer demands in 2022”, Essaadi said.

Also speaking, the company’s Supply Chain Director, Martin Kochl, said while the company recognises the importance of sustainable local sourcing of its agricultural raw materials and commercialisation of local raw materials, it is making conscious efforts to partner with local and international research institutes to improve the performance and adaptability of registered sorghum varieties

“We expect the tonnage to increase again and we are working with a whole number of partners, research institutes to increase local sourcing and introduce higher yield sorghum varieties in the market and we are exploring other alternatives. We are expanding into growing sorghum in other areas as well and yes the supplies of sorghum have been okay but the cost of getting it has been rising”, he said.