NIGERIA – The Deputy Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc,  Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, has said the focus of the company in the second half of the year is to increase sugar production and improve distribution to match the increasing demand from customers.

Speaking against the performance of the company for the half year ended June 30, 2015, Sule said despite  market challenges experienced in the first quarter and operating challenges in the second quarter of 2015, DSR was  able to grow its revenue compared to the same period in the previous year.

“Our focus for the remainder on the year will be to increase sugar production at reduced conversion cost and improve distribution to match the increasing demand from our customers. Our greater growth strategy “Sugar for Nigeria” continues to gain momentum as we execute the first phase of our expansion plans, ” he stated.

The company recorded a revenue of N51.1 billion in 2015, up by three per cent from N49.6 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2014.

Profit before tax stood at N9.8 billion, as against N10.3 billion in 2014, while profit after ta was N6.3 billion, compared with N6.8 billion in 2014.

Half-year sugar production at Savannah was 6,610 tonnes, up from 6,245 tonnes, while refinery production at Apapa was 361,083 tonnes.

DSR rewarded shareholders with a dividend of N4.8 billion for 2014. The Chairman of DSR, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, told shareholders at the 9th aqua general meeting in May that it remained the company’s policy to return part of its profits as dividends to shareholders at the end of each business year.

He, however, added that the dividend paid depends on the company’s financial performance, investment decisions, liquidity levels and banks balances.

“In view of the significant investments required for our backward integration projects, the company is in need of additional funding. As such, the board has taken the decision to reduce dividend payment for the year from 60 kobo per share to 40 kobo.

This is a transnational situation, requiring our short term sacrifices in order to build for the future, and is necessary for us to maintain prudent capital and liquidity levels to sustain our operations, in tandem with our backward integration projects,” Dangote said.

Speaking on the company’s operations, he said the company had to contend with heightened insecurity in the north-eastern Nigeria, along with other consumer oriented businesses.

“Access to our key markets was hampered, while we also had to grapple with reduced consumer purchasing power and periodic menace of low-priced unlicensed imported sugar. Notwithstanding this, our local sales volumes exceeded 780,000 tonnes in 2014, a slight reduction on the prior year,” Dangote said.

August, 10, 2015;