By NKIRUKA NNOROM
The Chairman of Learn Africa Plc, Mr. Segun Oladipo, has said that the company has made significant progress in 2013 financial year despite divestment of Pearson Education’s stake in the previous year.
Pearson Education Limited and Longman Group (Overseas Holdings) Limited, the two majority shareholders in former Longman Nigeria Plc, had in the first quarter of 2012 divested their 51 percent holdings in Longman on the basis of mutually acceptable terms. Following the divestment, the company went through a re-branding process, where it adopted Learn Africa as a brand name.
Addressing shareholders at the annual general meeting in Lagos, Oladipo said that the company achieved exponential growth in open market sales with the value of sales growing to N1.4 billion in 2013 from N800 million in 2011. He attributed the progress made within the period to a solid capital base, resourcefulness of the employees, high quality management team and efforts of ‘the visionary Board’.
He noted that the company has broadened the range of its product portfolio in order to meet the increasing needs of its customers.
Oladipo also stated that new titles have been introduced into the Nigerian market as replacements for some of the Pearson Education titles that were withdrawn from its list following divestment by later.
He explained that as a result of resolve to broaden its coverage area, the sales team was expanded from 61 before Pearson’s divestment to 137 sales people within one year, adding that it concluded restructuring of the entire sales and marketing department for optimum utilisation and efficiency to enable it to meet the current challenges of contemporary book business.
“Concerning sales and marketing, this company has been able to execute significant bulk book supply contracts from Ogun and Katsina States just to mention a few. We consider this impressive patronage by individual and corporate customers as a clear indication of the confidence that they have in the continuous growth and prosperity of the company,” he said. He assured that Learn Africa is committed to implementing the best practices and standards of corporate governance, saying, “We recognise that corporate governance standards and practices must be balanced to protect the interest of the shareholders and the company.”