Seplat’s cash generation, capital investment to boost investors’ fortune
•Gets shareholders’ nod on dividend payout, name change
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has assured shareholders that the company is well-positioned to increase shareholders’ value on a sustainable basis, even as cash generated from its operations has exceeded the amount invested for future growth.
Reviewing its financials at the 8th yearly general meeting, the Chairman of Board, Dr. ABC Orjiako, said the company generated cash worth $318 million from its operations which is significantly more than the $150 million invested for future growth.
Shareholders at the meeting approved a final dividend of $0.05 per share for the 2020 financial year and the adoption of a name change to Seplat Energy.
According to the board chairman, the company voluntarily repaid $100 million of its revolving credit facility with average working interest production of 51,183boepd, including 33,714bopd of liquids and 101MMscfd gas (17,469boepd).
He said: “Of this, our Eland assets contributed 8,855bopd or 26 per cent of total liquid volumes. Our financial performance enabled us to maintain our commitment to paying dividends.
“While other companies were cutting back or cancelling payments for the 2019 financial year because of prevailing uncertainties, we honored our commitment and paid a final dividend of $0.05 for a total dividend of US$0.10 for 2019.
“In October 2020, we announced an interim dividend of $0.05 and the Board has since approved an additional top-up of $0.05, maintaining our $0.10 dividend for the 2020 financial year. Since we raised $535 million at our initial public offering in May 2014, we have returned $344 million to shareholders in the form of dividends.”
Orjiako said the strengthening of its board is part of the firm’s ongoing desire to achieve world-class governance. He pointed out that six out of its 13-member board are independent and that the company would continue to work towards increasing diversity. He said the company had also eliminated all related-party transactions, a move that exceeded the requirements of the UK code of corporate governance.
He expressed the company’s determination to become a major part of Nigeria’s future energy mix and help drive the country towards more sustainable energy generation.
He added: “Our ANOH Gas Processing Plant will be a major step forwards in Nigeria’s drive to reduce carbon emissions, replacing potentially millions of small-scale, inefficient and polluting generators with cleaner utility-scale power generation fired by Nigerian natural gas.”
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Roger Brown, said Nigeria’s per-capita energy consumption and carbon emissions were low with a poorly developed national electricity grid.
“This is why the country is so reliant on small-scale diesel generation to satisfy its energy needs and this is the problem we need to address most urgently. It is important to recognise that Nigeria is a developing country with low access to energy and a rapidly growing young population.
“Hydrocarbons are the country’s main resource and provide significant help for its economy. The proceeds from the oil industry fund a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are crucial to the country’s societal development,” he said.
The President of Noble Shareholders Association, Matthew Akinlade, stressed the need for the company to deepen its investment in gas generation and diversification into renewable energy production.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.