Mon | Oct 3, 2022

Carib Cement may pay first dividend in 17 years

Published:Tuesday | June 7, 2022 | 12:12 AM
Shareholder Anatol A.L. Clark Allwood flips through the pages of the Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) annual report at an annual general meeting held at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Shareholder Anatol A.L. Clark Allwood flips through the pages of the Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) annual report at an annual general meeting held at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Caribbean Cement Company (CCC), the sole manufacturer of cement in Jamaica, plans to shell out $1.28 billion in dividends in its first payment in 17 years.

The recommendation follows a board meeting on May 26 and will be placed before shareholders for approval at its upcoming annual general meeting set for July 19.

The last dividend from CCC occurred in 2005 and amounted to $59.6 million, or seven cents per share.

CCC announced on Monday that it would “recommend a dividend payment of J$1.5032 per share” payable on August 15. The company’s ordinary shares total 851.1 million units, which equate to the dividend payout of $1.28 billion.

Last year, the company announced that it formed a committee to develop a dividend policy that would guide potential dividend payouts going forward.

The company said that the offer demonstrates the “solid financial improvement” and overall transformation experienced by the company’s operations in recent years.

Caribbean Cement has been profitable for the past nine years, with annual earnings hitting a record of $4.34 billion in 2021, up from $3.2 billion profit in 2020, also a record year. The gains occurred notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic, as a boom in construction led to record Caribbean Cement sales totalling $23.8 billion in 2021, from $20.1 billion in 2020.

The dividend, at $1.50 per share, equates to about a 2.0 per cent dividend yield based on the current stock price at $66.00 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

“It is the board’s intention that this payout will be the start of a sustainable dividend programme that should be aligned to the operating results of CCC and provide stable returns to shareholders,” the statement said.

Net profit in 2019, the year prior to the pandemic, totalled $1.88 billion, which increased by 130 per cent to $4.34 billion in 2021. The rise in profit also came with “significant” operational improvement, while ridding the company of long-term debt that previously affected the group’s capital.

The performance was flat for its first-quarter 2022 between January to March 2022. Caribbean Cement made a profit of $1.59 billion on revenue of $6.8 billion, compared to $1.53 billion on revenue of $5.97 billion a year earlier.

business@gleanerjm.com