Total Nigeria shareholders approve N2.06bn dividend

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The shareholders of Total Nigeria Plc, on Thursday, approved the N2.06bn dividend proposed by the company’s board of directors for the 2020 financial year.

The N2.06bn represents N6.08 per share to be distributed as final dividend subject to the deduction of appropriate withholding tax at the time of payment, according to the company.

The Chairman, Total Nigeria, Mr Stanislas Mittelman, who described 2020 as an unprecedented year while addressing shareholders at the 43rd annual general meeting held in Lagos and virtually, said the company’s turnover dropped from N292bn in 2019 to N205bn.

“However, due to the new and improved initiatives put in place by management, profit before minimum income tax rose by one per cent, while profit after tax reduced by two per cent from N2.28bn to N2.06bn. This is clearly a good achievement in the face of a pandemic,” he said.

He noted that the Nigerian oil and gas industry had been quite difficult for the downstream sector for the last couple of years.

“Tiny margins are constantly being further eroded by inflation and very high operating costs brought about by inefficient supply and difficult logistics,” Mittelman said.

He said it appeared that the government had taken a step towards deregulation with the pump prices of Premium Motor Spirit (petro) undulating for a couple of months last year as international prices of crude moved downwards.

“However, many other elements to support a full deregulation remain unresolved as we are yet to have a level playing field as all market players do not have equal access to US dollars for importation at the rate being used in the PMS pricing template,” he said.

Mittelman noted that technically, oil marketing companies could import PMS but it had been very difficult to do so.

“The aforementioned situation was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic which brought about a very sharp drop in sales across all channels for most part of the year,” he said.

He said to address the impact of the COVID-19-induced lockdown, the company activated ingenious stock and price risk management strategies, worked hard to reduce its fixed costs, improved cash collection and maintained operational excellence at depots.

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