Dangote To Consider Investing In Pharmaceuticals

Source: IBRAHIM HABU. - thewillnigeria.com
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KANO, Oct 08, (THEWILL) - If the management of Dangote Group subscribes to the request of the shareholders of Dangote Flour Mill, the group may soon commit huge funds into the production of pharmaceutical products.

At the AGM of the flour mill which took place at Tahir Guest Palace mid-week, a cross section of the shareholders asked Dangote Group, Chairman Aliko Dangote to as matter urgency, consider investing in pharmaceutical sector to bail Nigerians out of the menace of fake and counterfeit drugs.

Responding, Alhaji Dangote promised to conduct a business analysis of the sector to determine its viability and profitability for the group.

While delivering his speech at the AGM, Dangote informed the shareholders that profit rose for the year ended in December 2009 and added that board of directors had recommended the final dividend of 50 kobo per share. This, he said was in addition to the interim dividends of 30 kobo per ordinary share earlier paid, thus bringing the total dividend to 80 kobo per share in the year ending in 2009.

The 50 kobo dividend was therefore unanimously approved by the general meeting while the staff of the company were commended for exceptional performances.

Dangote said the year 2009 was a challenging one for businesses both locally and globally. The global financial crisis which started in 2007 he said, reached its climax in 2009 with the crash of the global stock market and failure of several banks which led to government intervention to recapitalized the financial system.

The billionaire said the situation also led to the price crash in Nigerian Stock Exchange which led to the drop of all share index, adding "this triggered lost of investors’ confidence and subsequent liquidity crisis in the Nigerian economy."

He further noted that there was also no significant improvement in the poor state of infrastructure including power and road network during the year, adding that despite

government's efforts an average of 3,500 megawatts was reportedly achieved as against the target of 6,000 megawatts.

"These developments impacted adversely on our business and has not helped the operating environment. However, in spite of this tough period, the company was able to significantly, increase its market shares, revenue and profit".

The Chairman said Dangote Flour Mill’s profit before tax was up at N5, 374 billion in 2009, representing a growth rate of 69 per cent from N3.157 billion reported in the previous year while turn over also increased from N47.927 billion in 2008 to N61, 388 billion in 2009 with profit after tax up from N2.989 billion in 2008 to N5.561 billion in 2009. This, he said represented a 28.1 per cent and 86 per cent in turnover and profit after tax respectively.