On March 13, 2020, Julius Berger announced a dividend pay-out of ₦2.75K per 50K share for the financial year ended December 31, 2019, and a bonus of 1 (one) new share for every existing 5 (five) shares held.
The dividend payout was based on the strong performance of Julius Berger for the financial year ended December 31, 2019, as was evidenced in the Audited Consolidated Financial Results released to the Market on March 16, 2020.
The unprecedented and novel COVID 19 global pandemic, and the ensuing lockdown and social restrictions, which is being experienced globally, Nigeria inclusive, is predicted would have operational effects on businesses and governments, and to lead to a global recession. Nigeria is not immune from the unfolding global issues, especially when one also takes into consideration the additional crisis in the global Oil Market and expected declining revenues from Crude Oil Sales. 2020 will thus be a difficult year for the Country, individuals, and businesses, in particular companies in the Construction sector.
These trying times for corporates globally is expected to force a rethink of spending plans by corporate boards to protect liquidity and ensure long-term sustainability, while balancing the needs for return to shareholders. The Board of Julius Berger has carefully considered the emerging social, operational, financial and economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the outlook for Nigeria for the Financial year 2020 and the impact on the business and cash flows of the Group.
The Board, acting proactively, has decided that it is prudent to withdraw its previously announced intention to recommend the payment of a final cash dividend of ₦2.75K per 50K share, and instead recommend to shareholders at the 50th Annual General Meeting scheduled to hold on June 18, 2020, a final cash dividend pay-out of ₦2.00K per 50k share. The savings from paying a cash dividend of ₦2.00K, together with the measures taken with respect to operational costs and CapEx savings, will ensure that more cash will be retained within the business of the Group.
The Group’s financial position remains strong as the first-quarter results will present, and the Board remains strongly confident of the post-COVID 19 future of the business of the Group and its strategic direction to remain a leader in its operating sectors.
Julius Berger will continue to closely monitor the ongoing developments in relation to COVID-19 and would continue to take appropriate actions to ensure business continuity and future growth.