Shareholders of Honeywell Flour Mills plc on Tuesday unanimously approved a total dividend pay-out of N1.34 billion representing 17 kobo per share as proposed by the board of the company at its 5th annual general meeting in Lagos.
At the meeting, shareholders received the company’s audited financial statement for the year ended March 31, 2014, together with the report of the directors, auditors and audit committee.
In his speech, Ayoola Oba Otudeko, chairman, Honeywell Flour Mills plc, said that Honeywell Flour Mills remains committed to providing superior quality products for the complete satisfaction of its customers. In spite of the challenging operating environment, Otudeko said, Honeywell Flour Mills will continuously improve shareholder value and return on investment.
“Improvement in efficiency due to automation of several operational processes and better treasury management resulted in 18% growth in profit after tax (PAT) from N2.8 billion to N3.5 billion,” Otudeko said.
The company also increased its shareholders’ fund and total assets by 11% and 15% to N20.6 billion and N63.8 billion, respectively.
Lanre Jaiyeola, managing director/CEO HoneyDeclare well Flour Mills Plc, said the company was able to pay shareholders the level of dividend because of the company’s increased output and aggressive push to meet rising demand across its product categories.
He noted that despite the challenge of input cost pressure, caused by increase in wheat price, the company was able to achieve a 32 percent increase in gross profit from the N8 billion recorded last year to N10.4 billion in the period under review, due to deft management of raw material sourcing and efficient control of production cost. He, thereafter, assured the shareholders of management’s commitment to sustain the company’s superior earnings.
The company’s full year financial statement shows it reported 18 percent increase in earnings per share – from 35.86 to 42.26 kobo. While its turnover rose from N46 billion in the preceding fiscal year to N55.08 billion in the year under review, representing a 21 percent growth in its turnover for the period.
Timothy Adesiyan, president, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), commended the management of the company for its efforts to increase the value of shareholders’ investments through the expansion initiative and for proposing N1.34 billion dividend pay-out.
He said: “Shareholders are satisfied with the dividend pay-out considering the difficult operating environment. He encouraged the board and management to maintain its adherence to good corporate governance.”