Umeme Ltd, announced today that the Company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday, May 9 2019, voted to support all of the resolutions that the Board of Directors and Nomination Committee proposed to the shareholders.
The AGM re-elected Mr. Piet AdriaanFaling and Mr. Anthony Marsh as directors of the Board and re-elected Mr. Patrick Bitature as the Chairman of the Board.
The AGM approved the annual report for 2018 and resolved on an ordinary dividend of UGX28.2 per share to be paid out on or about July 15th 2019, to shareholders in the Company’s register at the close of business on 25th June 2019.
This is an addition from the UGX12.7 interim dividend paid for half-year, running from January to June 2018.
In total, the giant utility will fork out up to Ushs66.4 billion in dividend pay-out based on the distributor’s stellar performance in 2018.
The AGM received and approved the annual financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2018, including the reports of the directors and auditors.
The AGM also resolved to approve the appointment of M/S Ernst & Young Certified Public Accountants as external auditors of the Company for 2019 and the remuneration of the Non- Executive Directors.
Mr. Bitature thanked the shareholders for their continued trust and confidence in him to lead the Board of Uganda’s leading electricity distributor.
Commenting on the performance of the Company on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), Bitature said he hoped the share price will one day pick up again to above the current UGX300 per share.
“The performance of our shares on the stock market is typical of our local companies; they don’t respond to great news; they only respond to negative news. We declared huge profits and dividend, but the share price didn’t react appropriately. But there is dividend and capital gains. I would love to give a bit of both, but I don’t have control over the share prices. The only control I have is to continue with topnotch performance to deliver great results for my shareholders,” the Chairman explained.
“The good news is the outlook is positive. Pre-negotiations have started before the two parties meet. We are targeting the negotiations to conclude by end of year,” he added.
He told the over 500 gathering that the Government targets lower tariffs, which he said was the interest of all energy stakeholders.
“We are going to work with them, create efficiencies and innovation. There is going to be demand for electricity in the oil and gas sector, from industrial growth and the domestic consumers under the access agenda. There is so much demand. In your interest (shareholders), we will get the best balance,” Bitature explained.
Mr. SelestinoBabungi, the Managing Director, disclosed that the Company was in the process of raising funding with or without concession renewal to cover the short and medium term financing needs.
“It would be great news for us, the sector and the country to get early concession renewal, because it gives confidence for long-term financing. It will enable us mobilise and deploy the much-needed long-term financing urgently needed to evacuate the new generated power from Isimba and Karuma dams,” Babungi said.
He said the long-term financing would be great to reinforce the network, ensure delivery of government free new connections policy, further improvement of the reliability of supply, create efficiencies necessary to drive industrialization and the rollout of the remaining 250,000 customers into prepayment billing system.
“The earlier the concession extension negotiations are concluded, the better for the sector and the country, but we have other funding options in the interim,” he said.
Bitature explained that many financiers had targeted long-term funding to the concession renewal, “but several of our credible financiers are still willing to give us the money.”