LAGOS Feb 19 (Reuters) - Nestle Nigeria shares rose to a new all-time high on thin volumes on Tuesday, ahead of expected full-year dividend announcement when its 2012 earnings are released this week, stockbrokers said.
The company, which is majority owned by Swiss food company Nestle SA paid an interim dividend of 1.50 naira per share in December, raising hopes of a healthy full-year payout.
The shares have risen more than 20 percent since the interim dividend was paid 10 weeks ago, on low volumes. It traded 396,475 units on Tuesday.
Nestle, which is now the most expensive stock on the bourse on a per share basis, pays out around 90 percent of its local profits as dividends, brokers say.
It gained 5.81 percent or 50 naira to 915 naira per share, its highest level ever on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, helping the index climb 0.25 percent to 33,335 points.
Nestle Nigeria gained 57 percent in 2012. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by James Jukwey)