National Enterprises Limited (NEL) has reported an increase in operating profits from TT $28.4 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 to $53.6 million this year; an increase if $25.2 million or 88.7 percent.
During the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM), held today at Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, shareholders voted in favour of a proposal by the board that, having declared an interim dividend of $0.15 in December 2016, to pay a final dividend of $0.20 to shareholders on the register as of July 21, 2017.
In its Annual Report 2017, NEL Chairman, Ingrid Lashley, said the board was pleased to report that with its portfolio of local investee companies, NEL "continues to provide shareholders with competitive dividends despite the challenges of the economic downturn."
"The share of profit of equity accounted investments, which will include shareholdings in Trinidad Nitrogen Company Limited (TRINGEN), NGC NGL Company Limited (NGC NGL), Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) and Pan West Engineers and Constructors LLC (Pan West), is $145.9 million, an increase of $80.5 million or 123 percent over the corresponding period last year," Lashley stated.
She explained that this was due largely to improvement in the results of TSTT, as the company moved from a loss position to profitability over the period, "as well as marked improvement in the performance of Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited (PPGPL). Dividends from the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Powergen) were also noteworthy."
Lashley said the result of these increases was a net profit after tax of $200.8 million, almost 100 percent increase from the previous year's figure of $109.6 million. The net profit for the year is reflected in an increase in earnings per share that doubled to $0.30 from $0.15 in 2016.
Addressing shareholders partway through the proceedings was NEL's General Manager, Terrence Clarke; whose appointment became effective on September 5, 2016.
Noting that "a common thread in all of our (investee) companies is the increased focus by the board and management of the companies to define strategic approaches to greater profitability and ultimately, improved shareholder value," Clarke said NEL is in the process of doing the same.
"NEL is also implementing such an approach to identify areas where the returns on non-strategic investments may be maximised. Initiatives have been taken to improve the internal operations of the company to ensure that it is well placed to contribute more effectively, in a proactive manner, to add value to its investee companies. In this context, given the changes in market conditions, the development of a new strategic plan is underway that will guide the company's operations for the next three to five years," Clarke stated.