Odu’a Investments Limited on Wednesday declared a profit before tax of N597million and the sum of N175 million dividends were paid to the five owner states of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti.
The cheques were presented to representatives of the owners at the Cocoa House headquarters during the 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the conglomerate.
Each state received N35 million, representing an increase of 16 per cent above the N30 million they received last year.
The company’s Group Managing Director (GMD), Mr Adewale Raji, said the company paid higher dividends as a reward for the support of shareholders in the challenging operating environment in the year under review as well as an assurance of better days ahead.
He thanked the shareholders for their support and assured of better deals in the future.
The N597 million profit declared was however three per cent lower than the N615 million declared last year. Gross earning for the 2015 fiscal year also stood at N1.69 billion, a 16 per cent decrease from the previous year’s N2.02 billion.
Raji said that the company was able to maintain financial stability amid the harsh economic comditions because it focused in the strategies laid out to achieve efficiency.
He said: “We remained focused to our strategies and were committed to our ideals and goals. Despite the very turbulent time that we are all facing, we ensured the highest level of efficiency and we kept our eyes close to the ball, not dropping it. I think we have been able to have this impressive result because our shareholders have made it possible for us.
“The time was challenging, I must confess. Income was very tough. We managed and ended up with a reduction in income. In actual fact, our profit is lower by three per cent compared with the previous year. We all know all the challenges in the economy today in terms of disposable income to people and patronage. These are areas which affected us seriously. All the same, we are managing business. Unless a business demonstrates profitability, there is nothing you can tell shareholders or stakeholders. We believe that with our focus and commitment, all our other plans will materialize and then we can start to demonstrate growth.”
The GMD also disclosed that one of the areas the company was working on is agro-processing industry especially as the country tends towards diversification of the economy as well as patronage of made-in-Nigeria products.
He said: “We want to sustain what we did in the past and introduce new thing that could generate more revenues. We are working assiduously on this. We just laid the foundation of a housing estate in Ibadan. We are trying to add to our private portfolio and we are going into agro-processing.”
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Osun, Alh. Moshood Adeoti, who spoke on behalf of the five shareholder-state commended the company for paying higher dividends in spite of lower profit. He urged the management not to rest on its oars.
Lagos State, which joined the group earlier this year, is expected to join the in the next AGM.