Directors of Sechaba Brewery Holdings have advised shareholders that there remain significant amounts of unclaimed dividends in the company’s financial records. However, the directors did not state the amount or the number of shareholders who have not claimed their dividends.
“Shareholders are reminded to contact the Company Secretary to claim their outstanding dividends,” read part of the statement accompanying the Group’s interim financial results published last week. ?Available figures show that the brewery group, which is partly owned by government through its investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), paid the highest interim dividend in 2013. According to figures from the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) quoted company, total dividend that were paid to shareholders for the financial year amount to 100 thebe per share, after the fourth and final dividend of 16 thebe per share was paid on 20 April 2015.
“The shareholders whose dividends are outstanding are therefore advised to contact the Transfer Secretaries so as to make a claim,” said the company directors.
In its full year results for the year ended 31 March 2015, Sechaba’s operating profit or (EBITDA) declined by 3.6 percent to P201.7 million from P209.1 million on the prior year. Equally, profit after tax (PAT) went down by 2.9 percent to P186.1 million from P191.8 million in full year 2014. Sechaba’s Kalahari Breweries Limited (KBL) operates under a tough environment in which the alcohol levy has affected sales as elbow benders buy cheap imported fixes. The government alcohol levy, which devours a huge chunk of Sechaba’s profit pie, stood at a total of 55 percent in December 2014, following an increase of five percent. The brewery also has to contend with traditional beer regulations, which have forced it to manoeuvre creatively around alternative ways of making sound sales from traditional beer.
“Traditional Beer declined by 4.3% against prior year due to the continuing impact of the Traditional Beer Regulations and the discontinuance of exports to South Africa,” stated the report.
On Friday the company said despite its lacklustre financial performance it will maintain a dividend payout to its shareholders. In the tough operating environment of stringent and incontestable trading regulations, retaining cash to reinvest into the business operations comes as a viable alternative option; the brewer however opted to make dividend payments.