By Nse Anthony-Uko
ABUJA, (Sundiata Finance) – Nestle Nigeria shareholders approved dividend of N7.93 billion declared by the company for the financial year ended December 31, 2016.
The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, on Tuesday..
The dividend which translates to N10 per share represents the total issued share capital of 792.7 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.
Speaking to shareholders, the chairman of the company, Mr. David Ifezulike said in spite of the challenging operating environment, weak consumer sentiment occasioned by rising inflation and cash crunch, the company improved revenue by 20 per cent.
He however explained that currency devaluation which affected material cost in the 2016 year under review, caused an increase in the cost of sales, but operating profit rose 13 percent.
On profit after tax which closed 67 per cent lower than previous year, Ifezulike noted that this was as a result of the revaluation of the foreign loans due to the devaluation of the naira.
Shareholders, however, commended the board on their efforts at maintaining profitability and retaining its top position in the industry.
Speaking on behalf of shareholders, the chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie commended the company performance in 2016. He encouraged the board to deepen waterline investments projects, especially to the southern Nigerian region further promote access to clean water, and increase capacity building for farmers to improve earnings.
He however urged the board to work harder in ensuring a better performance in 2016, calling for a better dividend payment for 2016.
While, the managing director of Nestle Nigeria, Mauricio Alarcon stated that the company will continue to work to impact the society positively, saying, “Every day, Nestlé Nigeria touches the lives of millions of people, from the farmers who grow its ingredients to the families who enjoy its products, to the communities where the company operates, and the rural environment upon which it depends.”
He said that although the company faced the prevailing tough economic environment, its growth strategies enabled it stay ahead of the pack, thereby growing market share improving on the bottom line significantly.