The Management of Total Plc has promised to consider its options to give shareholders the chance to take maximum benefits in Liquid Shares on the Exchange if bonus issuance will not hamper the company.
The chairman, Mr. Stanislas Mittelman, made this statement at the 31st annual general meeting of the company in response to a popular request made by highest percentage of minority shareholders of the company.
Mittelman noted that the company would work closely with the regulatory authority to ascertain that whatever volume of shares will be given as bonus is appropriate and one that would not seriously dilute earnings. He promised the company would consider the request and adopt it, if it is expedient.
Shareholders at the meeting, in view of the huge general reserve of the company worth about N6.8 billion had asked for bonus issuance, noting that the reserves could accommodate such since the company had not given bonuses in the past six years.
They also contended that shareholders who trade on their shares may not have sufficient daily float of 50,000 units of shares unless the major shareholders decide to join in the sales which they rarely do. They however, linked the show movement of the share price to the illiquidity of the share in the market.
Mittelman noted that the company would have lost over N1.2 billion in foreign exchange if it had not adjusted from denominating its foreign loans in dollars.
The chairman expressed his confidence for the economy, saying Total was increasingly improving the level of its investment in the country because of its believe in the future of the nation. “We have been in Nigeria since 1956 and we are completely dedicated to the development of the economy here. Our plan for investment for 2009 was the highest. We invested N6.7 billion in 2009 against an average of N2.8 billion last year N2.4 billion the previous year and so on”.
He stated that the company had launched a big long term investment in the area of developing some of the stations because of the company’s belief in the future of petroleum sector in Nigeria.
Total paid over 99% of its PAT of N4.390 million out of N4.393 million as dividend. It paid a total of N12.93 dividend N3.80 interim and N9.13 final.
The shareholders however, advised the company to reduce the cost of sale and the percentage of debtors to creditors, which they consider astronomical going by figures provided in the annual reports.