• Bassam Radi, Managing Editor

ADNOC Distribution approves AED1.285 billion interim dividend payment for first six months of 2020



ADNOC Distribution announced on Tuesday the approval of an interim dividend payment to its shareholders for the first six months of 2020 of AED1.285 billion (10.285 fils per share), equivalent to US$350 million.


This is the first payment in what is expected to be a full-year 2020 dividend payment of AED2.57 billion (AED20.57 fils per share), reflecting a 7 percent increase compared to last year’s dividend of AED2.39 billion (19.10 fils per share).


During its General Assembly meeting in March 2020, the company announced an amendment to its dividend policy for 2021 onwards, setting an AED2.57 billion dividend for 2021 and a dividend equal to at least 75 percent of distributable profits from 2022 onwards, subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and the approval of shareholders.


ADNOC Distribution expects to continue to pay half of the annual dividend in October of the relevant year and half in April of the following year. The new dividend policy demonstrates the company’s strong record of progressively increasing its dividends to its shareholders. As per the approved policy, the second and final dividend for 2020 is expected to be paid in April 2021, subject to the Board of Directors’ recommendation and shareholders’ approval.


Despite the challenging operating environment, the company has accelerated delivering on its strategic smart growth plans by opening 37 new stations in the UAE, as at end of September 2020, a seven times increase in new station openings when compared to last year, and remains on-track to deliver 50-60 new stations by full year 2020, including 20-25 new stations in Dubai.


Commenting on the financial results, Ahmed Al Shamsi, Acting CEO of ADNOC Distribution, said, "Our progressive dividend policy demonstrates our commitment to our shareholders as we advance our strategic priorities of steady and sustainable growth, enhanced customer experience and attractive capital returns for our shareholders.


"With our resilient business model offering stable and predictable cash flows and low exposure to oil price volatility, we are confident in our ability to pay a generous dividend to our shareholders, while also maintaining significant capacity to deploy capital through a disciplined investment strategy aimed at continuing our efforts to expand our fuel station network, with a focus on the Dubai market, as well as investing in our non-fuel and international business expansion."


ADNOC Distribution maintains a strong balance sheet and remains well positioned to expand both its domestic and international portfolio in line with its smart growth strategy. As at 30th June, 2020, ADNOC Distribution held AED2.4 billion in cash and cash equivalents (including term deposits) and AED2.8 billion in its unutilised revolving credit facilities.


Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented market conditions in the first half of the year, the company demonstrated a resilient and steadfast focus on smart growth, delivering a 7.6 percent increase in underlying EBITDA for the first six months of 2020, compared to the first half of 2019.


Earlier this month, ADNOC announced that it has successfully completed a placement of 1.25 billion of its shares in ADNOC Distribution with institutional investors. This represents 10 percent of ADNOC Distribution’s total share capital, and increases the company’s free float to 20 percent, broadening the company’s shareholder base and allowing for greater liquidity of its shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.


This transaction leverages significant investor demand for ADNOC Distribution shares following a strong performance with a resilient dividend since its initial public offering in 2017.

Shareholders of ADNOC Distribution registered on 11th October, 2020 (record date) will be entitled to receive the interim cash dividend, meaning the last day for purchasing shares and fulfilling the eligibility criteria is 7th October 2020. The payment itself is scheduled within 30 days from the date of the Board of Directors’ approval.


-WAM

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