Total bemoans late subsidy payment on cost of operations
…as shareholders okay N4.75b dividend for 2018
Total Nigeria Plc has decried huge financial expenses suffered due to late payment of subsidies, especially in the 2018 financial year, which it said resulted to sustained pressure on cash flow, and increased cost of operations.
The Chairman, Total Nigeria, Stanislas Mittelman, while addressing shareholders during the 41st yearly general meeting in Lagos, at the weekend, said the 2018 financial year was challenging for the company and downstream petroleum sector.
Besides, shareholders at the meeting approved the payment of N4.75 billion final dividend, culminating to N14 per share. Total had earlier distributed the sum of N1.02 billion as interim dividend, representing N3 per share.
Mittelman listed the challenges to include: security issues, delayed payment under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme, high cost of investment, reduced capital inflows, and weakening crude oil prices.
On efforts to increase market share in the industry, he said Total had entered into a storage arrangement in the Lagos area, to enable it leverage opportunities in line with its import and logistics optimisation strategy.
He pointed out that 55 stations were now powered by solar energy, with a combined capacity of one megawatt, adding that it produced more than one gigawatt hour of clean electricity.
“We signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with a manufacturing company in Ogun State, to provide 999kWp solar hybrid solution,” he added.
He assured that the company will continue to strengthen its solar business to increase profitability and sustain dividend pay-out, as well as consolidate past achievements to deliver value to shareholders.
He said Total’s turnover increased to N307 billion against N288 billion same period of 2017, while profit after tax stood at N7.96 billion against N8.01 billion.
Speaking at the meeting, the Founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, applauded the company for increasing shareholders return on investment through dividend pay-out despite the huge tax burden, late payment of subsidy, and high cost of operation.
He, however, called for full deregulation of the downstream sector to boost employment as well return on shareholders’ investment, and urged government to deregulate the sector and allow operators to compete favourably; as its interference is affecting return on investment.
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