Illovo Sugar Malawi has assured its shareholders that it is working hard to ensure that it resumes paying dividends.
For the past four to five years, Illovo shareholders have not been receiving dividends due to huge debts that the company is repaying.
Speaking after a tour of the Nchalo Sugar Factory by minority shareholders this week, Illovo Communications Manager, Irene Phalula, said the tour was meant to familiarise the shareholders with the company’s operations so that they are able to understand the decision made during annual general meetings.
On the dividends, Phalula said the directors of the company will be meeting in February next year to make a decision.
“The February meeting is targeted at discussing among other things, the dividend issue,” she said.
Presentations made during the tour indicated that since 2009, the Nchalo Estate has seen a decline in yield, which resulted from adverse weather conditions and stalk population, among others.
However, the estate has a five-year plan to improve the situation with an addition 2,280 hectares to be under efficient irrigation with an expected 36.7 percent return margin.
Speaking on behalf of the minority shareholders, Joel Maere, said the tour was an eye opener and has helped them understand the problems on the ground.
He said the company is facing challenges from the field up to the market.
“The company is alright, but there are trends in businesses that will necessitate the non-payment of dividends, which in our case, has been well explained by our directors to the extent that we now understand.
“The tour here has also helped us understand the capital needs of the company. What is needed at the moment is that the company should continue to exist so that in future, it should be able to pay us dividends,” Maere said.
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