During the company’s 41st annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday in Lagos, the affected stakeholders berated the old management for non-payment of dividend in more than five years.
They, however, applauded the interim management for moving to reposition the company for profitability and sustainable growth as well as renovating two floors of the hospitality.
The Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Ibru, was commended for protecting the interest of the minority shareholders’ group.
Members of the board include Chief Anthony Idigbe; Dr. Alex Thomopolus; Mr. Toke Alex Ibru; Mr. Waheed Olagunju; Mrs. Fadeke Alamutu; Mr. Kunle Aluko; Mr. Ufuoma Ibru; and Alhaji Abatcha Bulama.
The chairman, Idigbe, explained that the company’s revenue increased to N6.32 billion in 2017, representing a 15.62 per cent rise over the N5.46 billion recorded during the corresponding period of 2016.
He disclosed that the profit after tax (PAT) also rose from N90.95 million to N135.65 million during the period under review, translating to a growth of 49.15 per cent.
According to him, the company renovated two floors of the hotel and executed shareholders’ settlements.
Idigbe assured the shareholders of declaration of dividend in the near future.
However, a patron of the Noble Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Timothy Adeshiyan, regretted that stakeholders who had put in so much into the firm never received a dime for the sacrifice.
“Many people have suffered to get this company to this level. Do you believe that some people have had the shares of this company from day one but they did not have any kobo dividend or returns to show for it?
“We thank God for the life of people like Mrs. (Maiden) Ibru and Oba Otudeko who stood up to fight for the right of shareholders hence the type of the board which we have today.”
The President of Progressive Shareholders Association, Boniface Okezie, stated: “We are making progress in terms of performance.
We commend the efforts of the board.
But when are we going to start receiving dividend from this company? We must return to profitability to pay dividend.
That is the only way your efforts can be felt by all shareholders.”