Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s utility giant TAQA will certainly be keeping shareholders happy, by coming with a Dh2.8 billion dividend bonanza.
This includes the cash dividend of Dh1.1 billion (at 1 fil a share) and the Dh1.7 billion (1.5 fils a share) paid in December. It “delivers on the dividend policy recently approved by shareholders,” whereby they will be paid on a quarterly basis.
This proposal will be submitted for approval at the annual general assembly, expected to take place on March 18 pending regulatory approvals. If approved, payment of the final cash dividend of 1.00 fils per share will take place in April 2021.
“We delivered on a major promise made to our shareholders to provide sustainable and attractive returns, which we are delivering through our new dividend policy,” said Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of TAQA, otherwise known as Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.. “Completion of the transaction was the start of the integration work that will unlock the long-term potential of the business.”
Fujairah F3, now under construction, will be the UAE’s largest independent gas-fired power plant. Al Dhafra will be the world’s largest single-site plant of its kind, with low-cost solar power tariff of 4.85 fils/kWh.
There is also the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination project at Taweelah.
The generous dividends come despite 2020 revenues coming in 6 per cent lower at Dh41.2 billion, set off by lower production volumes in the oil and gas industry.
Net income also dropped, to Dh2.8 billion, “which reflected a significantly lower contribution from the oil and gas segment that was impacted by a Dh1.5 billion post-tax impairment charge taken in Q1-2020,” it said in a statement.
“Despite this challenging context, 2020 was a year of great progress, change and achievement for TAQA. In July, we successfully brought Abu Dhabi’s water and power assets under a new TAQA management team.
“We are now well placed to grow using our robust balance-sheet, strong cashflow and our position as one of the largest fully integrated utilities companies in the EMEA region.”
It was in July last that TAQA completed its merger with ADPower, creating a utility powerhouse for the region and beyond. It also made the entity one of the highest capitalised in the UAE stock markets.
Cap on expenditure
TAQA’s capital expenditure through last year was Dh4 billion, a decline of 19 per cent and again due to the issues surrounding the oil and gas industry.
Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and Managing Director, said in a stament: “TAQA has carved out a new place in the market during an extraordinarily tough year. These financial results demonstrate the strong platform for growth that we have created through our landmark transaction with ADPower. We have made great progress with our operational improvements and in laying foundations for our future ambitions.”