Seplat promises steady dividend payment

Nigeria Stock Exchange18 April 2014, Lagos – Seplat Plc has promised a steady dividend payment policy that will see the company paying dividend twice or more in a given financial year.

The Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Austin Avuru, gave the assurance at Facts behind dual listing of the company’s shares at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, and London Stock Exchange, LSE.

Seplat had on Monday listed 534 million ordinary shares of 50kobo each at N576 per share following a successful initial public offer earlier in the year.

The listing, according to the NSE, had boosted the NSE capitalisation by $1.9 billion.
Addressing stockbrokers at the listing, Avuru said that dividend is expected to be paid as interim and final at November and June each year respectively.

He added that core dividend would be grown progressively, with a ‘top up’ (special dividend) to be given based on the earnings and cash available ‘given known and anticipated acquisitions’.

He noted that since its inception three years ago, Seplat had consistently paid dividend, adding “we aim to strike a balance between retaining sufficient cash in business to finance organic growth acquisitions opportunities and rewarding shareholders.”

He stated that the company is poised to maximize production and cash flow from operated assets, saying that it targets oil production from OMLs 4, 38, 41 to reach 85 Mbopd by 2016, and 100 percent oil reserves replacement year-on-year.

According to him, Seplat would exploit domestic gas market, increasing demand for gas and rising prices to grow gas sales capacity up to 300MMcfd (million metric cubit feet per day) by 2017.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Oscar Onyema, CEO, NSE, said: “Today, we celebrate many milestones with this listing, Seplat becomes the first Nigerian company listed on the main market of the LSE and the first pure play upstream listing on the NSE.

This is also the first IPO since the market crash of 2008. It exemplifies your leadership and commitment to support and promote Nigeria. The recent rebasing of the Nigerian GDP further highlighted the low market cap of listed companies-to-GDP ratio, and your listing today will boost the NSE’s market capitalisation by $1.9billion, bringing the ratio to 15.86 percent.”
*Nkiruka Nnorom – Vanguard

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