TNM shareholders fume over declared dividends


The mood at the TNM plc Annual General Meeting at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre was dampened last Friday as shareholders expressed discontent over its declared dividends. 

At the AGM, the public listed mobile phone company among other things, declared a K9 billion profit with a total dividend of 43 tambala per share.

Despite posting a nine percent increase in  profit, and an increase in the total dividend of 10 tambala per share from last year, the shareholders complained that this is way too small as compared to their competitor.

During the plenary session, one of the shareholder asked TNM to explain what their competitors do well which they fail to replicate.

TNM Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anold M'bwana said they will revisit their strategy and work on improving their performance in the next five years. 

"The strategic plan we have been using expires this year. Going forward we will revisit it and work out plans that will benefit the company and shareholders," he said. 

Another shareholder, asked TNM to slow down on expenses saying last year they painted shops from Nsanje to Chitipa and yet at the end of the year produced only an additional 10 tambala per share.

In his response, M'bwana said the process was part of the company's branding and is for marketing purposes especially to those who sell their products. 

"Even if you offer your house to be selling our products, we will paint it," M'bwana responded. 

The company's board chairman, Ted Sauti Phiri said TNM faced various challenges including the effects of COVID-19 and the devaluation of the kwacha. 

He also assured shareholders that new strategies have been formulated to revive the company.

Phiri then backed management and directors of the company when another shareholder asked for a specific individual who is responsible for the company's dismal performance in the past years. 

"Everyone at the company is to blame. We work as a company, not individually," he concluded.