By Etop Ekanem
The Nigerian Ball-Point Pen Industries (NIPEN) has disclosed that smuggled pens among other challenges led to the decline in sales of the company’s products for the year 2014.
Chairman, Board of Directors and Managing Director of the company, Mr. Stephen Faderin, disclosed this at the company’s 40th AGM in Lagos.
He said in spite of the numerous challenges the company faced during the period under review, it was able to grow its assets by 15.9% through additional investment of N186 million in property, plants and machinery.
He added that they were able to also increase its revenue by 13.9% from N4.453 billion in 2013 to N5.075 billion in 2014 and raised its shareholders’ funds from N1.714 billion in 2013 to N2.277bn in 2014.
A 57% increase in marketing and distribution costs as well as a substantial investment dedicated to anti-counterfeiting efforts however, led to a an expected 40% reduction in profit before tax for the year.
Faderin said BiC pens recorded a decline in sales volume due to fierce competition from low cost brands, as well as smuggled pens.