ADNOC Distribution has been flying the flag beyond the UAE with major expansions in Egypt to follow up that already well underway in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: October 3 has been set as the qualifying date for shareholders to get a piece of the Dh1.28 billion interim dividend being issued by ADNOC Distribution. Based on this, the full-year 2023 ‘minimum’ dividend of Dh2.57 billion represents a 5.4 per cent dividend (based on the ADNOC entity’s stock price of Dh3.80 on September 25).

This year’s first-half results provided much cheer to the UAE’s listed companies and shareholders. More so, as some of them came out with interim dividends to sweeten the deal further where shareholders are concerned.

The proposed full-year dividend of Dh2.57 billion represents a per share payout of 20.57 fils a share.

“ADNOC Distribution continues to offer an attractive value proposition to its shareholders, underpinned by our commitment to delivering on our smart growth strategy, future-proofing the business, and unlocking additional value from efficiency enhancements,” said Bader Saeed Al Lamki, CEO of ADNOC Distribution.

That’s a strategy focussed on ‘transforming into a destination of choice for customers.

“Our strong balance-sheet and consistent robust cash generation provide the foundation for efficient capital allocation toward future growth and shareholder returns."

A minimum 75% payout
From 2024, ADNOC Distribution has set a dividend payout of a minimum 75% of distributable profits. "The policy recognizes the company’s strong financial position and cash-flow generation ability going forward," the company said in a statement. "The strategy will support growth opportunities and sustain attractive shareholder returns."

In the H1-23 results, the company had a 2 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit (excluding inventory movements) to Dh1.03 billion. The financial position 'remained strong' with liquidity of Dh4.7 billion. The retained earnings were Dh1.7 billion at the end of June, with a 'robust cash position of Dh1.9 billion.

Since the 2017 IPO, ADNOC Distribution has paid Dh13.6 billion in dividends, which includes the latest H1-23 tally.

“We will unlock new opportunities for growth that will further expand and cement ADNOC Distribution’s leadership position," the CEO said.

Since the 2017 IPO, ADNOC Distribution has paid Dh13.6 billion in dividends, which includes the latest H1-23 payoff.

How UAE's listed stocks fared on dividends
The release of the latest H1-2023 financials saw the average dividend yield for UAE stocks climbing to 6.36%. One of the major highlights for the earnings season was the return by Emaar to issue dividends after a near 2-year gap. In fact, Emaar stock's near 9% dividend yield is now one of the best amongst its global and region-listed peers.

Shareholders of the recent IPOs in the UAE also got handsomely paid, with big names like Salik and DEWA performing well. While Salik announced the return of Dh548 million for H1-23, DEWA paid Dh4.77 billion for H2-2022, totaling Dh9.9 billion (including the special dividend for Empower).

The ADNOC joint venture Fertiglobe returned $700 million. Fertiglobe is also on the list of companies with the highest dividend yields along with Orient Insurance and Fujairah Building Industries.

- Vijay Valecha, Chief Investment Officer of Century Financial