WARSAW. JUNE 28. INTERFAX C.NTRAL EUROPE - The general meeting of Polish gas monopolist PGNiG decided Thursday to make a dividend payout of PLN 1.003 bln out of last year's profits.
"The profit of PLN 0.17 per share proposed by the management results from the investment needs launched in line with the program for 2007," the company's vice-president Jan Anysz said during the general meeting.
The company will pay some 63% of last year's PLN 1.58 bln net profits. The general meeting decided to boost the capital reserve by PLN 545.3 mln. The rights to the dividend payout will be determined on July 27, while the payout will be made on October 1.
Out of the PLN 1.003 bln dividend, PLN 850 mln will be paid in kind to the Treasury, while PLN 153 mln will be paid in cash to other shareholders.
The payment method will allow the Treasury to take over the pipeline infrastructure from PGNiG. The assets will then be contributed in kind to the Treasury's solely-owned unit Gaz System, which was separated from PGNiG before the gas monopolist's privatization. Gaz System currently leases the infrastructure from PGNiG.
PGNiG shareholders decided some of the PLN 850 mln dividend may be paid out in cash if the value of the pipeline infrastructure proves to be lower than the planned dividend amount.
The valuation of the infrastructure will be made within a month. PGNiG's shareholders will discuss and vote on the valuation during the extraordinary general meeting on July 27.
PGNiG also decided to give PLN 9 mln out of last year's profits to welfare benefits for employees and PLN 25 mln for bonuses.
PGNiG will have to finance several large investments, including the purchase of shares in Norwegian gas fields, which is expected to cost USD 360 mln. The company will also have to contribute USD 600 mln as a shareholder in the company that holds the exploration license there.
PGNiG also wants to build gas storage facilities, which is expected to cost PLN 1.4 bln, as well as an liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, expected to cost PLN 1.5 bln. PGNiG plans to build a gas pipeline linking the Polish and Danish gas systems - the so-called Baltic Pipe running from the North Sea through the Baltic to Poland.