One year since the announcement, the shares of the West Indian Tobacco Company (WITCO) has now received the regulatory approval to be split into three.
In a filing on the T&T Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC), WITCO noted: “The amendment authorised a share split to convert each ordinary share of the company into three ordinary shares subject to regulatory approval. Regulatory approval has now been received.”
This means that shareholders’ current stock holdings will appreciate in value while WITCO’s stock will be more affordable for the average person to purchase.
The share split will be effected on November 28, 2019 (the Record Date) “where each of the company’s issued ordinary shares held by the shareholders on the Record Date will be converted into three issued ordinary shares of the Company.”
Following the completion of the share split the company’s issued capital will be increased from 84,240,000 issued ordinary shares to 252,720,000 issued ordinary shares.
The stock split, which was approved and announced at special Shareholders’ Meeting held on October 30, 2018, took 6 months longer than was predicted by company Managing Director Jean-Pierre du Coudray at the company’s last AGM. At WITCO’s AGM in April 2019, du Coudray said that the approval process for the company’s share split was taking a little longer than expected.
He said that the delay was related to the lengthy process of getting information from the investors abroad, but he expected the approval to come through in May.
The company has also been engaged in a battle with illicitly traded cigarettes that affected WITCO’s bottom line .
In a past interview du Coudray said: “I’ll be honest with you. I think 2017 was the scariest year for us because we saw a lot of people leave us to go to these cheaper brands.”
He continued: “But when they realised what they’re smoking, they came back, and they have been coming back. That’s why our results for 2018 and 2019 continue to grow because we are getting a lot of our consumers back.”
The West Indian Tobacco Company has recorded a net profit of $210 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2019.
WITCO Chairman, Anthony Phillip said in a statement: “I am pleased to report that West Indian Tobacco has recorded Profit Before Taxation of $300.9 million, representing an increase of 16.5 million or 8.5% over comparative 2018.”
Phillip noted that the contributing factors for the company’s performance include “innovation to maintain the relevance of our brands, constant review of cost-saving opportunities and efficiencies in our manufacturing operations.”