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By NBF News
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Dangote Cement Plc,  said plans are on to  increase total production of cement in order to meet its domestic and international markets, even as it paid a cash dividend of N1.20 per share for the financial year ended December 31, 2011.

Speaking at the company's 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM), held last week in Lagos, Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said, We are looking beyond our local market and plans are in place to increase our total production to 60 million tones of cement by 2015.

At present we have 19.25 million tones and this comprise: Obajana Cement Plant 10.25 million tonnes per annum, Benue Cement Plc three million tonnes per annum, and Ibese plant six million tones.'

He further assured shareholders that they will reap higher returns from their investment as production increases in both Nigeria and other countries such as: Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania and Cameroon.

While commenting on the company's performance for the year 2011, Dangote, said a turnover of N235.704 billion was recorded for the year under review as against N202.565 billion in 2011. 'Our operating profit grew from N102.969 billion in 2010 to N117.332 billion. Profit Before Taxation (PBT) grew from N101.051 billion to N117. 843 billion, while Profit After Tax (PAT) grew from N105.322 billion in 2010 to N125.478 billion in 2011' he added.

He further stated the company decided to appreciate the shareholders for the support and understanding by declaring a bonus of 1 for 10 shares.

According to him, 'With additional production volume, increase in turnover and profitability our esteemed shareholders are soon to be smiling with robust dividends to their banks.'

Speaking at the AGM, Brigadier Emmanuel Ikwue, Chairman, Coordinating Committee, Zonal Shareholders' Association, said, 'We the shareholders commend the Board for the impressive performance and we pray that the company continues to grow form strength to strength.

We from the Benue State appreciate the turnaround on the Benue Cement Plant because in the past we never thought it will improve like what we are seeing today.'

Other shareholders who spoke at the meeting, Messrs Alieu Alex and Owolabi Peter commended the Board for the dividend and bonus given to shareholders for the year under review.