Over 1200 Umeme shareholders stand to gain after the electricity company announced a 57 billion shilling profit after tax at their annual general meeting held at Serena hotel on Thursday.
The news means that each shareholder will walk home with a 15 shilling per share dividend to be shared from the 24.4 billion shillings dividend endorsed by the company’s board.
Charles Chapman, the Umeme managing director told shareholders attending the meeting that the company is growing stronger and expects more profit given an increase in investment into service delivery set to commence in the next financial year.
The profit arises out of an increase in end-user tariffs that was levied onto the consumers from 385 shillings to 524 shillings per unit after government revoked subsidies to the company last year.
The tariff that is discomforting to the end-user, however, holds out as a great mark to Umeme’s success as expressed in the media communiqué provided to journalists at the event.
James Kyeyune, a shareholder told the media that the shares are his long-term investment and that he would re-invest his dividend till the money is good enough to take home.
Among the programs set to be rolled out of the company this year is the pre-paid metering system that has been piloted in areas of Kitintale and Bugolobi in Kampala. Chapman says the company will roll out over 40,000 pre-paid metres this year to their over 458,000 customers country-wide.
The pre-paid metering system allows consumers of electricity to pay in advance for the units of electricity they will be using.
While consumers continue to suffer constant load-shedding from the company, Chapman says power shortfalls are not as a result of failure to deliver power but re-construction of major power lines.
This was the first annual general meeting after listing on the Ugandan stock exchange last year.