Ten of Nigeria’s blue-chip corporate entities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) amassed a combined profit after tax (PAT) of more than N1.4trillion from their operations in 2020 despite the devastating impact of coronavirus pandemic on businesses around the world.
Six of the companies are operating in the banking and finance sector of the nation’s economy.
The year 2020 has gone down in history as a period when most businesses were forced to either shut down completely or massively scale down their operations in compliance with the new normal of lockdown and physical restriction of movement of persons.
Companies that managed to render skeletal services were compelled to do so remotely, with their workers restricted from traveling and limited to working from homes.
A review of the filings of approved audited financial statements of the top ten corporate organizations with the NSE as of December 31, 2020 showed that Dangote Cement, a member of the conglomerate belonging to Africa’s richest businessman, Aliko Dangote, topped the chart with over N276.1billion profit for the year.
Nigeria’s most profitable bank, Zenith Bank recorded the second-highest earnings for the year of about N230.6billion, followed by Nigeria’s largest telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria, which realized about N205.2 billion.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) was the fourth biggest earner for the year with N201.4billion, ahead of United Bank for Africa (UBA), which realized over an N113.8billion, and Access Bank with N106billion profit.
During the year, Stanbic IBTC declared an N83.2billion profit during the year, ahead of FBN Holding, which realized N75.6billion, followed by BUA Cement with N72.3 billion and Nestle Limited with N39.2billion.
In terms of dividend payment to their shareholders, the top ten companies took over 87 percent of the total N958 billion in dividends payouts during the year, a review of statistics from their annual financial statements revealed. The figure is above the N851.9 billion paid out in 2019 by about N106.1billion.
As expected, Dangote Cement paid the highest dividend during the year of N16 per share to its shareholders totaling about N272 billion, followed by MTN Nigeria’s N4.97 per share (about N172 billion) about 29.5 increase over the previous year.
BUA Cement approved an N2.07 per share dividend (about N59.2 billion), about a 1000 percent payout in dividends largely as a result of the consolidation of the Group’s cement businesses across the country.
In the banking sector, Zenith and GTBank emerged as the highest dividend-paying banks, each shelling out about N87.9 billion and N83 billion respectively, beating UBA and First Bank, which gave its shareholders about N33 billion and N14.2 billion respectively. Other companies that have announced dividends payouts to their shareholders Access Bank (55 kobo), GTB N2.7 per share