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Vision raises dividend

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st November 2005 03:00 AM

The New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation yesterday declared a higher dividend of sh6.86 per share for the financial year ending June 30, 2005, compared to last year’s dividend of sh4.8 per share.

The New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation yesterday declared a higher dividend of sh6.86 per share for the financial year ending June 30, 2005, compared to last year’s dividend of sh4.8 per share.

By John Odyek

The New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation yesterday declared a higher dividend of sh6.86 per share for the financial year ending June 30, 2005, compared to last year’s dividend of sh4.8 per share.

The declaration was made during the annual general meeting of shareholders at the company’s head offices in Kampala.

The directors expressed optimism about the financial performance of the company for this year, saying profits were expected to double those of last year.

Keith Kalyegira, acting chairman of the board, said the revenue of the company had increased from sh17.8b in 2001 to sh25.6b in 2005. In same period, the net worth of the company had doubled from sh5.3b to sh11.3b, while the borrowings had increased from sh486m to sh877.7m.

Kalyegira, who read the annual report, said the company’s turnover increased by 8% from sh23.7b in 2003/04 to sh25.5b in 2004/05.

He said the proposed dividend for the year had increased from sh250m in 2004 to sh350m in 2005.

Augustus William, a shareholder, said after the Initial Public Offering of the company, there was an appreciation of the share price but after declaring dividends last year, the share price fell.

He queried whether the company could not issue higher dividends to boost share prices.

New Vision Group managing director William Pike said the more important issue was how the company could finance itself. He said commercial bank interest rates on loans were high at about 17%. He said this required a return of investment of about 25%, which was hard to achieve.

“We have preferred to have low dividends and maintain a low borrowing rate. We are a very low-geared company. The debts stand about 2% of the total value of the company,” he said.

He said the company’s price earnings ratio was about 8, comparing well with that of the Kenyan newspaper companies such as the Nation Group, which stood at 15, and the Standard Group at 30.

Pike said the company’s net profit margin for this year to date was 18%. If this is sustained over the whole year, it would double the 8% margin of last year.

The meeting elected Patrick Bitature, director of National Insurance Corporation (NIC), to represent minority shareholders on the company board. Bitature was nominated by NIC, which is the biggest minority shareholder.

The meeting approved a report of the directors and financial statements of the company for the financial year ended June 30.

It reappointed the Auditor General as the external auditors for the financial year 2005/06.

Vision raises dividend

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