By Hilary Mare
BIDVEST Namibia this week advised shareholders that the company will, effective immediately, cease dividend payment by way of cheques.
This comes in the wake of a cheque phasing out drive that is currently underway and which is expected to be concluded soon
“Shareholders are urged to contact the transfer secretaries to update personal and banking details, to ensure dividends are received via electronic funds transfer,” the firm said on Tuesday.
Bidvest Namibia’s trading profit for the 2017 year fell by 68.6 percent, while revenue decreased by 2 percent. As a result, headline earnings per share (HEPS) declined by 74 percent to 22.4 cents per share (2016: 86.2 cents).
At 23.9 cents (2016: 86.9 cents), earnings per share (EPS) were down by 72.5 percent.
The group’s board of directors declared a final cash dividend of 6 cents per share. This brings the total annual dividend to 10 cents per share (2016: 38 cents per share)
The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has still not decided on a new due date for the phasing out of cheques.
This follows a decision to extend the deadline, to ensure that this phasing out exercise happens in line with provisions in the current laws governing the payment industry.
At N$3.8 billion (2016: N$3.9 billion), Bidvest Namibia’s annual integrated report for 2017 shows revenue was down by 2.1 percent.
Trading profit was significantly lower, at N$92.5 million (2016: N$294.9 million), a decline of 68.6 percent. The trading margin contracted to 2.4 percent (2016: 7.6 percent), mainly of a result of pressure on the fishing division’s margin.
Cash generation was also under pressure, and dipped to N$185.1 million (2016: N$388.2 million).
“Despite these challenges, we maintain a robust balance sheet, and retain the capacity to fund continued growth, whether organic or acquisitive.
“As the recession deepened and divisional challenges increased, Bidvest Namibia rededicated itself to the strategic task of achieving sustained growth. For us, growth is not something to be sought only when all the economic indicators are in our favour.
“Growth is our long-term goal and should remain our core objective across market cycles. We have a performance-based culture. If the economy underperforms, our divisions must outperform to ensure a fair profit.
“We can’t sit on our hands and wait for the economic horizon to clear. The principal driver of profit is the performance of our people. They must have the right tools for the job. Therefore, investment in systems and infrastructure was maintained,” the company said its consolidated annual report.
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