UAC Nigeria Advances Most Since November on Dividend Bets

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- UAC of Nigeria Plc, a food-products maker and fast-food restaurant operator, rose the most since November on speculation it will pay a full-year dividend.

The stock rose 5 percent, the daily limit and the most since Nov. 1, to 30.45 naira at the close in in Lagos, the commercial capital, reducing its decline this year to 2.3 percent.

Nine-month results were “very impressive, so investors are taking positions in the hope that it will pay a dividend,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lambeth Trust and Investment Co., a Lagos-based brokerage, said by phone today.

Net income for the nine months through September more than doubled, climbing to 9.63 billion naira ($61 million), from 3.83 billion naira a year earlier, UAC said on Oct. 31. Second-quarter profit increased more than threefold to 7.8 billion naira, from 2.2 billion naira a year earlier, it said on Aug. 2.

The second-quarter profit included 5.5 billion naira earned from the sale of a 49 percent stake in UAC’s food division to Tiger Brands Ltd. of South Africa, Securities Africa Ltd., a Johannesburg-based brokerage, said at the time.

“Perhaps the company plans to distribute that to shareholders,” Adonri said.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net