Uganda Clays Limited (UCL) shareholders have been paid Shs 1 for every share they own after the company posted 4.5 per cent growth in revenue in 2017.
According to the firm’s audited accounts released last week, the company’s revenue grew from Shs 26 billion in 2016 to Shs 27.2 billion in 2017. As at December 2016, there were 900 million shares.
Addressing the company’s shareholders, George Inholo, UCL managing director, said the company is intensifying sales and marketing activities to increase revenue and profitability. The stinging issue pointed out by shareholders was the recurring losses being incurred by the Kamonkoli factory in Mbale, which is East Africa's only semi-automated clay manufacturing plant.
“All the problems plaguing Uganda Clays are as a result of Kamonkoli” noted by Richard Byarugaba, the managing director of National Social Security Fund (NSSF) - Uganda Clays largest shareholder.
Byarugaba told UCL shareholders that NSSF is looking for an equity investor to bring in the requisite financing to complete the Kamonkoli factory and turn around the company.
“The situation happening in South Sudan prior to last year, we were doing business in South Sudan but because of the civil strife, we had to cancel our operations in the country and to hold it until the situation normalizes," Inholo revealed.
“In South Sudan, there is lawlessness, that is not the kind of environment we want to risk the lives of our employees," Martin Aliker the chairman board of directors reiterated on the firm’s position regarding its South Sudan operations.
Inholo revealed that the company will in the course of the year launch grey and black tiles for the construction market. Inholo further noted that the clay sector in Uganda is not well regulated and revealed and that the company is having issues there suffering from direct and indirect competition.
“Regulation is good because it ensures that whatever player is producing meets the specifications of the consumer. Currently this is an issue which we are going to take up with government agencies to ensure that there is regulation regarding the quality of all the dealers and manufacturers of clay that will help to minimize the entry of bad products on the market,” Inholo reiterated.
Aliker announced that he will be stepping down as chairman board of directors at the end of his tenure in 2019.