OKOTOKS, AB, Jan. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - (TSX: MTL) Mullen Group Ltd. ("Mullen Group" and/or the "Corporation") announced today its capital expenditure plan for 2013 as approved by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors considered a wide range of economic issues, commodity pricing predictions and forecasted drilling activity for the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. The preliminary capital budget for 2013 is set at $80.0 million, which represents a decline of approximately $23.0 million from the actual capital expended for 2012. Mullen Group expects to allocate $55.0 million to the Oilfield Services segment and $25.0 million to the Trucking/Logistics segment. The majority of the funds will be used to acquire new trucks, trailers and specialized equipment to support the on-going operations of Mullen Group's Business Units. As the need arises, the Board of Directors will consider additional capital requests throughout the year for special projects, the purchase and development of land, or for acquisitions.
"I am pleased that the Board of Directors accepted the recommendation of our Senior Executive Team. This capital will ensure that our Business Units can remain competitive in what I can summarize as a very challenging market. These investments, among other things, will enhance our business units' service offerings to our customers, improve our direct operating expenses and support our human resource strategy and recruiting initiatives", commented Murray K. Mullen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Mullen Group is also pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has approved an increase in the annual dividend to shareholders from $1.00 per share to $1.20 per share. In addition, Mullen Group will commence paying the dividend monthly as compared to quarterly. The Board of Directors of Mullen Group also announced today that it has declared a dividend of $0.10 per Common Share payable to the holders of record of Common Shares at the close of business on January 31, 2013. The dividend will be paid on February 15, 2013. For Canadian resident shareholders, this dividend is designated as an "eligible dividend" for purposes of the enhanced dividend tax credit rules contained in the Income Tax Act (Canada) and any corresponding provincial and territorial tax legislation.
The decision to increase the annual dividend and to pay it monthly was based upon a number of factors including; the expectation that Mullen Group will continue to generate funds from operations in excess of that required to pay taxes, interest, as well as fund the on-going capital investments in the organization; Mullen Group's strong balance sheet; and the emerging trend in the capital markets towards sustainable yield investments.
"While we expect 2013 to be a challenging year with little opportunity to grow our business due to economic and industry conditions, Mullen Group will continue to generate significant cash from operations. The decision our Board of Directors made today is just another example of how investors in the Mullen Group are rewarded. We have a solid business model and a very strong balance sheet - the combination which provides us with the confidence to increase the dividend", added Mr. Mullen.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risk factors associated with the oil and natural gas business and the overall economy. Mullen Group believes that the expectations reflected in this news release are reasonable, but results may be affected by a variety of variables. Mullen Group relies on litigation protection for "forward-looking" statements. Mullen Group is a company that owns a network of independently operated businesses.
Today the Mullen Group is recognized as the largest provider of specialized transportation and related services to the oil and natural gas industry in western Canada and as one of the leading suppliers of trucking and logistics services in Canada - two sectors of the economy in which Mullen Group has strong business relationships and industry leadership. Mullen Group provides management and financial expertise, technology and systems support to its independent businesses. Mullen Group is a publicly traded corporation listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "MTL".
SOURCE: Mullen Group Ltd.
For further information:
Mr. Murray K. Mullen - Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Stephen H. Lockwood - Co-Chief Executive Officer and President
Mr. P. Stephen Clark - Chief Financial Officer
121A - 31 Southridge Drive
Okotoks, Alberta, Canada T1S 2N3