2nd July, 2010
The board of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, last week, presented its audited result for the year ended December 31, 2009, reporting a 2.1 per cent increase in turnover from N80.671 billion in the corresponding period of 2008, to N82.396 billion.
In what has been generally accepted as a difficult operating year for many businesses, the company reported a profit before tax of N19.586 billion, compared with the previous N30.151 billion, while profit after tax closed at N13.186 billion, from N21.871 billion reported for the period ended December 31, 2008.
A statement by the company, at the weekend, said turnover and profits were curtailed within the period by the 25 per cent depreciation in the value of the Naira against the US Dollar. This, it said, combined with an increase in the price of the companyâ€™s major raw material- raw sugar throughout the year; as well as the increase in the price of gas for powering the companyâ€™s machines during the period under review.
These attendant costs, the statement added, could however not be entirely passed to the end users, as the â€œselling price of refined sugar did not fully reflect the increase in the cost of raw sugar, resulting in a reduced margin for DSR Plc.â€
In line with the shareholder-friendly disposition adopted from the onset, the board has recommended a total dividend of N12 billion, representing N1.00 per share for approval at the annual general meeting slated for July 27, 2010, in Kano. The dividend, subject to withholding tax, will be payable to shareholders in the register of members as at close of business on Tuesday July 13, while the dividend would be paid on Friday, July 30, 2010.
The balance sheet remained very strong, as evident in the 27.53 per cent growth in net assets from N32.627 billion in 2008, to N41.613 billion in 2009.
The statement assured that processes are being put in place already to improve the companyâ€™s revenue stream â€œthrough the introduction of more consumer-friendly refined sugar packages into the market.â€
Continuing, the directors noted that â€œthe current global economic crisis and the increasing prices of raw sugar amongst others have posed a major challenge to performance in recent times. The board of directors is mindful of its impact on the current business year; barring these circumstances, the board is hopeful for a better performance in the coming years.â€
The company also assured that this would be complemented by cost-cutting strategies and innovation to stay ahead of competition, while improving returns on shareholdersâ€™ investment.