Seplat promises increased returns as shareholders get N10.6bn dividend

Shareholders of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc have received $0.05 (N18) dividend per share for the 2018 financial year, amounting to N10.6bn.

The company, which posted a N73bn profit for 2018, gave an assurance to grow production, drive increased shareholder yield and capital appreciation.

The company reiterated its commitment to stronger growth in the oil and gas sector as it held its sixth Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Thursday.

Seplat also announced N228bn revenue in its full-year 2018 financial result, representing an increase of 65 per cent from the N137bn recorded in 2017.

Seplat, listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, also recorded N73bn profit before tax, indicating a 480 per cent increase from N13bn reported in the same period in 2017.

The Chairman, Seplat, Dr Ambrosie Orjiako, said the company’s 2018 operational and financial performance reflected the significantly higher year-on-year levels of production uptime at its core oil-producing assets combined with a firmer, albeit still volatile, oil price and increased contribution from the company’s gas business.

He said 2018 saw an important step taken by the company when it migrated to the Premium Board of the NSE.

Orijako said the Premium Board gave the company enhanced access to a wide pool of investors and that they were particularly proud of the fact that Seplat had achieved another first in becoming to date the only oil and gas company to achieve such feat.

He said, “As we enter 2019, our reliable production base, the low unit cost of production and discretion over capital commitments will allow the business to remain highly free cash flow generative and profitable.

“In the absence of any major interruption or force majeure event, this will enable Seplat to honour its dividend policy and provide an attractive yield to our shareholders in addition to the potential for capital appreciation.”

According to Orjiako, the company will selectively invest in low-risk oil production drilling opportunities within the existing portfolio and the continued expansion of the gas business, with 2019 set to be the year that activity intensifies at the large scale Assa-North and Ohaji-South gas and condensate development.

The Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, Mr Austin Avuru, said the company’s operational and financial performance resulted in robust profitability and cash flow generation, which provided an extremely solid foundation for growth for the coming years.

He said, “In 2018, we reinstated the dividend, increased capital investments and with the resources and headroom in our capital structure, we are equipped to capitalise on organic and inorganic growth opportunities as they may arise.

“The board has taken the Final Investment Decision for the ANOH and Amukpe to Escravos alternate export pipeline, which will be completed and fully commissioned in the second quarter of the year.

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