By Emmanuel Adeleke
Shareholders of Dangote Cement Plc yesterday commended the Management of the company for an impressive performance despite the economic challenges in the year under review.
The shareholders, unanimously approved N20 per share for the year ended December 31, 2021, as against the N16 paid in the preceding year. This represents a 25 per cent increase in dividend compared to the 2020 dividend of N16.00 per share, reinforcing the company’s commitment to maximising shareholder value.
The shareholders gave their approval at the 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos. They commended the management for the impressive performance recorded in the year under review. They also applauded the company for its efforts in reducing unclaimed dividend of the company.
Dangote Cement in the year under review achieved its highest profit before tax in its history, at N538.4 billion. Also, the company recorded Group volumes of 29.3Mta, up 13.8 per cent. Exceptional EBITDA of N684.6 billion was achieved, up by 43.2 per cent owing to strong cost control measures.
Speaking, chairman of the company, Aliko Dangote, said that, “over the last decade, Dangote Cement has recorded exponential growth across all areas.”
According to him, Group volumes are now at almost 30Mta, adding, “our capacity has tripled to 51.6Mta and we export cement from five countries across Africa.”
“As the volatile global environment propels us into a new era of uncertainties, we are fortunate that the last two years have taught us resilience, adaptability and grit. These values are what we need to face unpredictable times in the future.
“Dangote Cement remains the leading cement company in Africa, well-positioned for a positive and sustainable future. We are resolute in transforming Africa, while creating sustainable value for our stakeholders,” he added.
Dangote said in January 2022, the company completed the second tranche of its buy-back programme as Dangote Cement has now repurchased 0.98 per cent of its outstanding shares, saying this share buy-back programme reflects the company’s unwavering commitment to creating value and identifying opportunities to return cash to shareholders.
“We began operations in our new 3Mta Okpella plant in Edo State in 2021, where we are successfully ramping up production and have contributed to creating a new industrial hub.
“We are actively deploying our alternative fuel strategy across all countries of operations, to optimise energy efficiency, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and ultimately reduce CO2 emission. Whilst we focused our efforts on meeting the robust demand of our local market in Nigeria, at the expense of our export markets, we still made significant progress in our cement and clinker exports.
“In 2021, we exported seven ships of clinker out of Nigeria and exported cement from five of our operations. Our vision is for West and Central Africa to be cement and clinker self-sufficient, while making the regional and continental free trade agreements a reality,” Dangote said.
He added that along with the company’s focus on strategy, it made progress on the effectiveness and diversity of its board, with the appointment of Ms. Halima Aliko-Dangote as a non-executive director effective February 26, 2022, bringing female board representation to 27 per cent, from 20 per cent in 2020, in addition to the six different nationalities and five independent non-executive directors on the board.
“We continue our sustainability and governance efforts with our seven sustainability pillars – ‘The Dangote Way’. The seven pillars- cultural, economic, institutional, financial, environmental, operational and social- provide the appropriate framework in which we have embedded our corporate values and strategic objectives.
“Our strategy in 2021 focused on energy transition, which is a crucial enabler of sustainable development and climate resilience on the continent. We have increased our focus on alternative fuels in our energy mix. We are actively investing in installing mechanical multi-fuel systems that can process diverse types of wastes,” he added.
On the outlook for Dangote Cement in 2022, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Michel Puchercos, said: “Our goal to be the partner of choice for those transforming Africa, while creating sustainable value for our stakeholders remains firm and clear.
“Despite operating in a challenging and fast-moving environment, Dangote Cement consistently delivers superior profitability to the shareholders. The robust demand experienced across the continent despite the COVID-19 related challenges, confirm the powerful potential of these markets.”