…looks to brighter 2021
GOIL Company Limited will pay shareholders GH¢0.045 per share as dividends for 2020, despite the economic downturn caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, its Board Chairman, Kwamena Bartels, has disclosed.
Addressing shareholders at the company’s 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually, Mr. Bartels noted that GOIL’s growth in sales volume of fuel was lower than the previous year, but the state-owned company had resolved to maintain dividends to its shareholders.
The company’s profit after tax was GH¢90.03 million, down by 14.5 % compared to the previous year. Consequently, earnings per share also fell by 14.5 percent. Despite the fall, the Board decided to pay a dividend by the same amount as that of last year namely, GHC0.045 per share.
“As expected, the impact of the COVID-19 resulted in a decline in revenue. The reason for the fall was low volume of sales and increased operating expenses.
The increase in operating expenses was very significant compared to that of last year and it stems from measures that were taken to reduce the effect of the pandemic,” he said.
A brighter year ahead
The company is banking on its diversification, expansion and digitisation strategy to deliver sustain growth from the 2021 financial year.
For instance, its US$35 million bitumen plant started two years ago, is expected to start producing by end of September this year. The facility has three facilities- a three-in-one project stocking raw bitumen, production of polymer modified bitumen and emulsions and is forecasted to deliver value to shareholders.
Other future growth strategies include a soon to be introduced cylinder recirculation business, expansion into other West African countries which has been delayed by the pandemic and introduction of digital and convenient payment options to bring comfort and security to GOIL customers.
“The year 2021 will be exciting since we anticipate aggressive marketing of bitumen products,” says Mr. Bartels, adding that the company is also looking at expanding non-fuel business: “We intend to engage potential partners with high brands to do business at our stations. As stated earlier, we plan to take a very active part in the new model for distribution of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the industry, educational institutions and individuals.”
On digitisation, he said GOIL has developed a mobile phone application – with the intention of phasing out the use of cards, which allows QR codes as a payment method for goods and services at the stations. Whilst reducing physical cash handling, this will further mitigate the risk of transmitting any virus during transactions.
Meanwhile, on its West African expansion strategy, he said as soon as the COVID-19 situation eases, GOIL would resume scouting for potential filling stations outside the country: “The strategy is to acquire already existing stations instead of constructing them. We believe that going outside the country will improve the company’s brand image which will eventually lead to increased patronage of our products, thus increasing returns on shareholder investment.”