**As Shareholders Want Details of Forensic Audit Released
By Dipo Olowookere
Chairman of Ikeja Hotel Plc, Mr Anthony Idigbe, has hinted that the company may resume the payment of dividend to shareholders of the company this current year.
Addressing shareholders on Monday in Lagos at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), Mr Idigbe noted that the present interim management has been working tirelessly to ensure compliance with regulatory requirement to avoid charges resulting from penalties and violations in its operations.
“Unfortunately, the board of directors is unable to recommend the payment of any dividend for the financial year under review.
“We are however hopeful that we would be able to declare interim dividend during the course of the year 2019, the Chairman said at the meeting.
According to him, “High standards of corporate governance are fundamental to the sustainable operation of your company.
“The board is committed to ensuring that each director continues to make valuable contribution to the growth of the business.
“We have maintained a cordial relationship between the company and the regulators as well as with the operator of its asset, Marriott International, key shareholders and staff and this has enhanced business confidence.”
Highlighting the progress made in the 2018 financial year, Mr Idigbe said the hospitality firm achieved nine percent growth in revenue with 83 percent increase in profit.
He disclosed that the company generated N13.3 billion as revenue in the year under review, higher than N12.1 billion recorded in 2017, adding that the company’s profit after tax increased to N1.1 billion in 2018 from N603 million in 2017.
Speaking at the 42nd AGM yesterday, some shareholders of the organisation criticised the old management for non-payment of dividend for five years.
They urged the present interim management not to follow the footstep of their predecessor, but make efforts to ensure a positive turnaround, which should result into steady payment of cash dividend.
The shareholders used the occasion to commend the new team for last year’s performance, whih they said was better than the previous years.
In addition, they urged the board to make public the result of the forensic audit when completed to enhance implementation, strengthen corporate governance and forestall any form of lapses in the future.
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