In spite of the challenging operating environment in the country, Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc will continue to commit itself to the development and growth of the nation’s economy, according to the company’s Managing Director, Mr Nicolaas Vervelde.
Vervelde, who stated this on Thursday at the company’s 2015 pre-Annual General Meeting media briefing in Lagos, said that favourable demographic profile, growing middle class and rising urbanisation made the country thick for good investment opportunities despite falling oil prices and foreign exchange challenges.
He said that the company would remain committed to the development and growth of the country through investment in education and youth empowerment, among others, adding that the company was ready and poised to exploit arising opportunities in the country despite the tough operating environment.
The NB chief executive officer also expressed optimism that the company would maintain its leadership position in the industry with strong innovation agenda, strong brand portfolio and cost leadership focus.
He said that 2015 financial year was a very challenging year due to elections/transition period, forex challenges, insecurity, falling oil prices and rising inflation.
Vervelde said that the challenges and unpaid salaries by many state government reduced purchasing power by 18 per cent in 2015.
He said that the company was able to deliver good results and return on investment due to cost leadership and market leadership supported by strong innovations.
Vervelde said that 21.5 per cent of the company’s 2015 revenue came from innovations which led to introduction of new products into the market.
The managing director said that the company was looking toward ensuring that 60 per cent of its raw materials were sourced locally by 2020, noting that the target would be accomplished before the deadline.
He pointed out that the company had concluded the integration of two operating companies following the merger with the dissolved Consolidated Breweries Plc.
The company’s report for the financial year ended December 31, 2015, showed a turnover of N293.9 billion from N266.4 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2014, an increase of 10.3 per cent.
Its profit after tax dropped by 10.5 per cent to N38 billion from N42.5 billion in 2014.
The company’s operating profit stood at N62.30 billion against N66.9 billion in the preceding period of 2014, a decrease of 6.3 per cent.
The company, in spite of the challenging environment, recommended a total dividend of N38.06 billion which translated to N4.80 per share against N37.2 billion (N4.75 per share) declared in 2014.