Leading cement manufacturing company and most capitalised stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Dangote Cement Plc, yesterday reported a profit after tax (PAT) of N158.227 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
The financial statements of the company showed a revenue of N685.290 billion in 2018, showing an increase of 14 per cent compared with N603.575 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. Cost of sales went up from N259 billion to N287 billion, bringing gross profit to N397.608 billion, up from N343.721 billion in 2017.
Administrative expenses increased from N32.673 billion to N38.112 billion, while selling and distribution expenses similarly rose from N80.824 billion to N97.152 billion. Other income improved from N2.915 billion to N4.516 billion, while finance cost declined from N39.917 billion to N30.115 billion.
Consequently, profit before tax went up from N220.182 billion to N247.364 billion, just as PAT increased from N154.122 billion to N158.227 billion.
Earnings per share (EPS) rose to N9.25 per share, up from N9.01 in 2017. If the same momentum is maintained for the last quarter of the year, Dangote Cement Plc would be ending the year with an EPS of N12.30.
Given the fact the company paid a dividend of N10.50 last year, the expectations are high that it will pay higher dividend this year considering the level of EPS already achieved as at the end of nine months.
The shareholders of the company had, at the 7th annual general meeting (AGM), expressed excitement at the dividend paid, saying Dangote Cement had continued to create value for them and urged the board and management to maintain that impressive performance.
Chairman of Dangote Cement, Alhaji Aliko Dangote had said the board believed that the recommended dividend was at an appropriate level and was consistent with the company's aim of delivering superior returns to shareholders, while at the same time balancing the company's need to invest in growth.
According to him, as a company, Dangote Cement was accorded international credit ratings that were actually higher on a standalone basis than the sovereign country of Nigeria.
"This recognition should assure you, our shareholders, that our long-term view and prudent management are serving us well at a time when others in our industry are facing difficulties that challenge their independence and only serve to erode shareholder value," he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement , Joseph Makoju said he was pleased with the way the company adapted to marketing efforts to the challenges in the Nigerian economy in 2017.
Looking ahead, Makoju said the company would return to volume growth, particularly in Nigeria as the economy recovers and the higher oil price brings more cash into the country.
"We will continue to focus on improving sales and logistic so we are well prepared for when the market picks up, which we are confident it will in 2018 as infrastructure investment begins to accelerate," Makoju said.