THE Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc has declared a dividend to its shareholders amounting to 2.1 US cents per share for the 2020 financial year following an improved financial performance during the second-half of this year.

According to an interim dividend notice released, Wednesday, CEC announced that it had declared a dividend of 2.1 US cents per share for the current financial year ending December 31, 2020, despite a turbulent first-half year period, which saw its share price tumble on the Lusaka Securities Exchange (LuSE) to K0.80 per share by June 30, 2020.

CEC’s share price on the LuSE dropped to K0.80 per share by end of trading on June 25, 2020, compared to K1.21 by March 31, 2020, triggered by the Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) payment default on its power bills and the continued uncertainty over the now-lapsed Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA) with national utility, Zesco.

The BSA lapsed on March 31, and since then, CEC’s transmission and distribution infrastructure had been declared Common Carrier through Statutory Instrument (SI) Number 57 of 2020.

“Notice is hereby given that the Directors of Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc, on Thursday, 26th November 2020, approved the payment of an interim dividend of US cents 2.1 per ordinary share, which translates to ZMW0.4407 per share. The exchange rate applicable is the Bank of Zambia mid-rate on the date of declaration,” read the notice.

“In compliance with the requirements of the Securities Act No. 41 of 2016 and the Listings Rules of the Lusaka Securities Exchange, the dividend shall be payable to the shareholders registered in the share register of the Company at the close of business on Friday, 18th December, 2020. Hence, the last day to trade in order to be eligible for dividend receipt is Tuesday, 15th December, 2020. Dividend payments will be made from Monday, 21st December, 2020.”

CEC’s financial results for the half-year period ending June 30, revealed that it incurred losses of nearly US $32.5 million for the period under review, mainly induced by KCM’s inability to settle its electricity bills amounting to over US $150 million by the close of this year.

Data also showed that the Kitwe-based power utility’s gross revenues equally declined by two per cent to US $201.9 million during the period ending June 30 compared to US $206.4 million, mainly on account of a reduction in power demand by its Zambian mining customers.

But a dividend declaration for the financial year ending December 31, 2020, indicates a strong financial performance experienced in the second-half of this year, with profitability expected in the second half compared to a loss in the first half.