By Peter Egwuatu
BERGER Paints Nigeria Plc, yesterday, lamented the harsh operating environment which has impacted negatively on the Manufacturing sector as its contribution to the Gross Domestic Products, GDP, in third quarter of 2015 slowed down to 9.4 percent against the previous year.
The Chairman of Berger Paints Nigeria, Dr. Oladimeji Alo, who disclosed this at the company’s 56th Annual General Meeting, AGM held in Lagos, stated “In the year under review, capacity utilisation in the real sector continued to lower around 45 per cent. The decline in growth was caused by unavailability of foreign exchange for raw material and equipment importation, high parallel market exchange rates, high interest rates, insufficient power and energy supply as well as inefficient infrastructure which efficiently stifled its position as the engine of economic growth.”
Addressing shareholders at the meeting, Alo said that the future is bright as the Chemical and Paints sector is, however, expected to further ride on the back of the growth of the economy and the building and construction industry to record better performance.
While x-raying the performance of the company for the financial year 2015, he said “In spite of the challenging environment, our company continued to sustain its performance with emphasis on profitability ad value creation for shareholders. “
According to him “We recorded a marginal decline in sales revenue from N3.083 billion in 2014 to N3.022 billion in 2015, representing a 2 per cent decrease. By contrast, our Profit Before Tax,PBT grew from N249.3 million in 2014 to N565.2 million in 2015 representing a 126.7 per cent increase. The fall in our sales revenue was largely due to the absence of the one –off export transaction that earned us revenue of N199 million in 2014. On the other hand, the PBT growth was largely as a result of some extra ordinary items which boosted our income.”
In their comments, shareholders commended the Board and management for the company’s performance despite the operating environment challenges.
The various shareholders’ leaders, such as Sir Sunny Nwosu, Evangelist Anthony Omolola, Mr Michael Cole, Mr. Nonah Awoh said “The company has done well for declaring 75 kobo dividend per share in spite of the unfavourable environment.