After two years without dividend, shareholders of C & I Leasing Plc will smile at the end the current financial year.
This indication was given by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of C & I Leasing Plc, Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi, yesterday at the company’s ‘Facts Behind the Figures’ presentation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.
According to Otike-Odibi, the company did not pay dividend for two year due to retention of funds to grow the business, saying it is stronger now and in a better position declare a dividend.
“We appreciate the fact that the business has not paid dividend in the past two years. Last year we were all very expectant for that to happen but it did not happen. One of the things we did last year was to set aside money to grow the business. It did not make sense for to raise fresh capital and then begin paying dividend. We needed to plough back funds as much as possible. But that said and done, our plan is to pay dividend by the end of this financial year. The business is stronger now and cash flows are better. Shareholders have been more than magnanimous because with the patience they have excercised so far, we will definitely want to reward them with dividend and given the way our share price is moving, they will also enjoy capital appreciation,” Otike-Odibi said.
Reviewing the performance of the company for the half year ended June 30, 2018, the MD/CEO said gross earnings of N12.8 billion, was recorded, showing an increase of 11 per cent above the same period in 2017. He explained that the gross income was driven by growth the company’s rental income on the back of volume increase in the fleet and marine business.
“Profit after tax of N682.2 million, up 17.6 per cent was achieved through a combination of cost reduction initiatives and optimal utilization of assets. We successfully raised a N7 billion bond, the largest ever raised in the company. The funds will be used for debt refinancing and business expansion,” he said.
He projected that the company would record a turnover of N26.319 billion at the end of 2018, N30.268 billion in 2019, N36.321 billion in 2020 and N45.401 billion in 2011. Profit after tax has been projected to be N1.522 billion in 2018, N1.750 billion in 2019, N2.1 billion in 2020 and N2.625 billion in 2021.
Going forward, Otike-Odibi said the company would improved on implemented cost optimization initiatives; maintain operating expenses growth rate below inflation rate; seek opportunities for growth to improve visibility to customers and potential business partners; digitize operations and entrench collaboration across all units; diversify the outsourcing business to business process outsourcing and expansion of marine business to Ghana.