By Taofik Salako, Deputy Business Editor
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc remains a resilient business with strong balance sheet to acquire more oil and gas assets and ensure sustainable growths and returns to shareholders.
At the annual general meeting in Lagos, the company assured that significant free cash flow from a low cost production base and a balanced portfolio split evenly between oil and gas, which is de-linked to oil price have positioned the company for sustainable growth in spite of the moderating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and global crude oil decline.
Chairman, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Dr Ambrose Orjiako, said the company remains focused on delivering shareholder returns through regular dividend distributions and capital growth.
He spoke just as shareholders approved the distribution of $59 million as cash dividends for the 2019 business year, representing a dividend per share of 10 cents.
He said the company is in a competitive position for further price-sensitive acquisitions noting that Seplathas been well-positioned for emerging opportunities in the event of further consolidation of the oil and gas industry.
According to him, amidst the current headwinds occasioned by the prevailing global Coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, Seplat will continue to maintain strict financial discipline over investment decisions, while also embedding high standards of corporate governance and transparency; strong commitment sustainable business; and effective management of risks with a strong health, safety and environment culture.
“I believe that Seplat has an important role to play throughout the energy transition that is set to occur in the years and decades ahead, not least through the impact we can have by scaling up our domestic gas supply business and displacing imported diesel fuels that are being burned for power generation and helping Nigeria benefit from the social and economic multiplier effects that reliable and affordable power availability can bring,” Orjiako said.
He said Seplat plans to position itself for an ambitious next phase of growth which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets acquisition, as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies.
“Looking forward, one of the main challenges facing the independent exploration and production sector is to remain relevant as the world makes the transition to a lower carbon future. The oil and gas industry face considerable challenges given that oil in particular plays such a significant part in today’s energy supply mix, with demand for the commodity still growing. A key part of my role as chairman of the board is to steer the company through these transitions,” Orjiako said.
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