University Press Plc has recorded an increase in revenue of N1.80 billion for the 2017 financial year ended March 31, 2018. The increase also impacted on the profit after tax, which rose by 75 per cent from N118 million in 2016 to N207.4 million in 2017.Despite the challenging year, the company recorded a better result than a year earlier, when compared with the 2016/2017 revenue of N1.61 billion, representing 12 per cent increase.
The shareholders’ fund stood at N2.56 billion as at March 31, with shareholders approving a dividend of 15k per 50k ordinary share in respect of the 2017 financial year, or an increase of 50 per cent compared with the 10k per share paid last year. The amount will translate to a cash outlay of N64.7million. Speaking at the yearly general meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Chairman, UP Plc, Dr Lalekan Are, said Nigeria’s prospects for sustained economic growth is hinged on favourable conditions in the global oil market, which continues to support the country’s external trade balance, government revenue, business and investment optimism.
Are said the operating environment for business is still difficult, stating that the economy is still inhibited by serious issues of transportation, logistics, cost of doing business, access to funds and infrastructure deficits especially with regards to power supply.He said the purchasing power in Nigeria did not improve to any appreciable level to encourage spending, which affected demand for products.
Chairman, Shareholders Association, Ibadan Zone, Eric Akinduro, commended the performance, noting that achieving such results is not because the economy is vibrant or good to do business, but the disciplinary attitude of its managers. Akinduro said the management is prudent and committed to the belief of the founding fathers of University Press Plc hence the result they achieved.
He noted that the book publisher is able to give dividend, whereas there are companies dealing with food and beverages, and banking sector that are unable to do so.
Akinduro said: “The dividend of 15 kobo might be small when you look at the earnings of about 48 kobo; were expecting dividend of almost 20 or 25 kobo. But as a matter of policy, it is better to get smaller dividend and continue to get it continuously than to get a bigger dividend and next year you are starving. If they are giving us 15 kobo dividend this year, and next year they are giving us 15 or 20 kobo, it is more convenient for shareholders than to get 20kobo for this year, and you aren’t getting anything next year.”
The Managing Director, UP Plc, Samuel Kolawole, said the scourge of piracy has been a major challenge in the industry calling on government to take concerted efforts in tackling the menace. Kolawole said there is a need for the federal government to understand that piracy is a big problem that is threatening the publishing industry, and to support efforts of the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), in fighting the scourge.
Source: G Business