Vision Group shareholders will get sh35 dividend per share following the approval at the Annual General Meeting held at the company offices.
By Samuel Sanya and Faridah Kulabako
Vision Group shareholders will get sh35 dividend per share following the approval at the Annual General Meeting held at the company offices yesterday.
The dividend to be paid on January 21, 2015 was recommended by the directors after the company posted revenues of sh83b, an increment of 5% from sh79b the year before.
Despite the increase in revenues, there was a 13% drop in after tax profit to sh3.1b from sh3.6b.
Shareholders were pleased with the dividend, but tasked the company board to explain the growth in expenses and charged them to present highly improved results.
Vision Group’s chief executive officer Robert Kabushenga said management has undertaken specific measures aimed at improving the company’s financial performance.
“We have taken deliberate measures to ensure that we turn around the performance of the company going forward because we want to be able to give higher dividends.
I have tasked the team to ensure double digit profitability every year for the next seven years,” he said.
Kabushenga added that the company registered a profit of sh3.2b in the first four months of the current financial year and is set for a record financial performance at the end of the year.
“From the experience of the past year, we have learnt some lessons and we have put in place corrective measures, which are already delivering results. When we declare the halfyear results, they will reflect a much improved performance compared to last year. All the business units are now performing well, so we are confident about the future,” Kabushenga explained.
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) deputy managing director, Geraldine Ssali, noted that wasteful expenditure must be avoided. She added that the decline in the company share price to sh510 has seen the market value of the fund’s investment take a hit. NSSF holds a 19.6% stake in Vision
Group, trading as the New Vision Printing and Publishing Company on the stock exchange.
The fund will receive a sh529.2m pay cheque from New Vision as part of the sh2.7b total pay out.
Andrew Muhimbise, a shareholder, expressed concern over the flat dividend payout, saying the company was spending more on wages and staff costs, which was eating into dividends.
Reacting to the concerns, Vision Group’s board chairman, David Sebabi, told the meeting that the company has refocused its strategy to deliver better results in a challenging economic environment to remain dominant and socially relevant.
“This was yet another challenging year owing to a general reduction in expenditure across the economy. The print advertising industry continued to experience a decline in spending, directly impacting company revenue,’’ he noted.
“The year, however, also saw a significant growth in advertising spend in electronic media. This shift is expected to continue and the company will continue to align its strategy with the changing market trends, but at the same command a bigger market share and revenue in print media,” he added.
Sebabi and other board members, Orono Otweyo and Charles Tukacungurwa were re-elected.
Another member, Ketra Tukuratiire, joined the board.
Vision Group shareholders to get sh35 in dividend