Electricity distributor Umeme said the utility’s revenue grew by 8.3% to Shs1.5 trillion on increased energy sales in 2017, officials said while releasing its financial results to 2017 on Thursday in Kampala.
Managing director Selestiono Babungi told journalists that connections rose by 18.3% during the year to 1,125,291 and they also collected 102% above the target set.
The results reveal a 74.4% drop in after-tax profit to Shs35 billion at the end of 2017, compared to Shs138.4bn in 2016. The reduction in profitability does not reflect the 8.3% rise in revenue at the end of 2017.
The reduction in after tax profit was largely expected, considering that in the first half of 2017, Umeme had made a loss of Shs47.5bn.
Marie Nassiwa, the Chief Financial Officer, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to continue to employing ‘…the most appropriate technology to bring down energy losses, sustain a rigorous safety regime and invest in strengthening the network to improve the quality and reliability of supply…’
She said the company was pleased with the good operational performance during the year highlighted by further reductions in distribution losses and above-target revenue collections.
Ushs12 billion earmarked for dividend pay-out
Umeme Limited, majority owned by Ugandans also announced Ushs7.6 dividend pay-out per ordinary share to all its shareholders for the year ended 31 December 2017.
The dividend was recommended by the Board of Directors during their first meeting of 2018 in Kampala early this month.
If approved at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 17 May 2018, the final dividend subject to deduction of withholding tax, where applicable, will be paid on or about 6 July 2018 to shareholders in the books of the Company at close of business on 20 June 2018.
‘The dividend will be paid into the shareholder bank accounts or mobile money accounts whose details are maintained by the Securities Central Depository (SCD),” Grace Semakula, the Umeme investor relations manager, said.
He explained that the total dividend pay-out of Ushs12bn was based on the performance of the Company over the period January to December 2017.
Umeme has reduced energy losses through, among other means, introducing prepaid billing – that is, making sure domestic customers pay in advance for the power they will consume – and, in some cases, offsetting amounts government departments owe it from what it collects from retail users and should pass on to the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited from which it buys bulk electricity.
Over the last 12 years, Umeme has increased revenue collection from 80 per cent (2005) to 99.9 per cent (2017). This it achieved by going after those who owe it money.