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Meikles declares hefty dividend

MEIKLES Africa has followed the path of super performers, declaring a hefty dividend for the year to March 2006.

But analysts said the kudos for the most aggressive dividend policy remained with Econet Wireless Group, whose sister operation in South Africa is currently eng

aged in a relentless expansion programme that could soon place it among the five biggest telecommunications groups in Africa.

Econet, the country’s leading telecommunications operator, declared probably the largest dividend of $2 221 per share, outperforming other quoted companies which released their financials recently.

Econet, which has 147 565 849 shares listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), forked out $327,8 billion in dividend payouts.

Meikles Africa, declared a $2 000 dividend for the year to March 2006, the second biggest dividend for a company with a high number of issued shares.

Meikles will spend $373 billion on dividend payments, after having posted a staggering $1,6 trillion in pre-tax profit during the year.

The group declared a final dividend of $2 000 per share payable on 163 656 787 shares.

Analysts said Meikles, a top stock on the ZSE, had a healthy cash position and its dividend payout was one of the highest on the bourse.

“Meikles has maintained a top position and its major boost came from the retail division,” said Farai Dyirakumunda, an analyst with Interfin.

Dyirakumunda said that retail and consumer-oriented counters were currently the most rewarding and less risky stocks to invest in, and Meikles would remain an attractive investment option as the group had a strong presence in the sector.

“The retail business is cash-based and it’s easier to adjust according to consumers buying patterns,” he said. — Staff Writer.

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