Willdale Approves 35 Cent Share Payout, Hails RBZ Auction System

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED brick layer, Willdale Limited (WL) has approved of 35 cents dividend payout amid tough economic conditions.

The firm expressed optimism the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) auction stability will revive dormant opportunities in the construction sector.

Several companies are struggling to keep afloat owing to both a challenging operating environment and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result, many companies have not been able to make arrangements to pay their shareholders, opting to divert most of their revenue towards operational expenditures.

In a recent update, WL chairman, Washington Chidziwo said the firm had approved a dividend payout to be cleared before the end of next week.

“The directors have resolved to pay a final dividend of 35 cents per share with respect to the year ended 30 September 2020.

“The dividend is payable to shareholders registered in the books of the company at the close of business on 22 January 2021 and will be paid on or about 11 February 2021,” he said.

The shares of the company will be traded cum-dividend (with dividend) on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange up to the market day on 19 January 2021 and ex-dividend thereafter.

For the year ended September 30 2020, the company’s revenue increased by 19% to $596 million, driven by a 12% increase in volumes.

However, operating profit decreased by 50% to $166 million after charging $8.7 million to depreciation of property, plant and equipment.

Exchange gains amounting to $26 million were earned from translation of foreign currency denominated balances.

Net cash flows generated from operations amounted to $125 million while capital expenditure for the year, which was all financed from internal resources, totalled $35 million.

Sales volumes increased by 12 % compared to the prior year, despite effects of the Covid-19 induced lockdown on projects.

Chidziwo said the relaxation of lockdown conditions from the fourth quarter witnessed a steady increase in orders especially from individual home developers.

“The continued opening up of economic activity coupled with the RBZ introduced foreign currency auction system resulted in a stable currency and inflation rate. This will present opportunities from dormant and new projects including government infrastructure and housing development programs,” he added.