South African retail pharmacy group Dis-Chem Pharmacies has resumed dividend payments to its shareholders after withholding dividends in 2020 due to difficulties occasioned by COVID-19.
Disruptions from the pandemic last year, coupled with the acquisition of Baby City, negatively impacted Dis-Chem’s financial performance and prevented it from rewarding interim dividend payments to shareholders during the year.
However, at the end of the half-year period of its present 2022 financial year, the board declared an interim dividend of R0.1949 ($0.01231) per share payable to shareholders on Nov. 29 from the group’s income reserve.
The interim cash distribution as declared by the board amounts to a total payout of R167.59 million ($10.85 million) to shareholders.
Meanwhile, Lynette and Ivan Saltzman, who hold governance roles in the group, are expected to pocket a dividend of R75.8 million ($4.9 million) due to their joint 45.2-percent stake in the company.
Dis-Chem Pharmacies is a leading pharmacy retail and healthcare group based in South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized economy.
Since its founding by Lynette and Ivan Saltzman in 1978, the group has grown into a leading retail and healthcare group in the country with linked dispensaries, family clinics, wound-care clinics and comprehensive self-medication centers.
It also operates an online platform that provides click-and-collect services, where customers can purchase beauty products, healthy foods, sports supplements, and health and wellness products.
Despite a tough operating environment due to the pandemic and a deepening economic recession, the group achieved significant growth in profit. This spurred its directors to reward shareholders with an interim cash distribution.
In the first half of its current financial year, the group reported a 16.6-percent growth in revenue to R14.9 billion ($965.5 million) as it benefitted from the economy’s recent recovery and a resurgence in the demand for health and wellness products.
This strong growth in revenue spurred its total income to grow by 18.1 percent to R4.2billion ($272.2 million), while headline earnings surged by 35.3 percent from R0.36 ($0.02333) per share last year to R0.487 ($0.03176) per share in 2021.