PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc has declared N2,721 million dividend in its 2009 Financial year. The dividend represents 80 kobo per share and 25 per cent increase over the N2,168 million paid last year.

Speaking at the 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Company, the Chairman, Professor Emmanuel C. Edozien stated that, despite the harsh operating environment in year under review, “our brands continued to be well patronized and maintained their leadership position in the various market categories. The Company managed the challenges well, saw a strong profit growth and ended the year well positioned.”

He further explained that, although turnover contracted slightly from N63.7 billion in 2008 to N62.7 billion, Pre tax Profit grew from N7.7 billion to N8.0 billion while Net Profit surged from N4.8 billion to N5.3 billion representing 4 percent and 10 percent increase respectively.

According Professor Edozien, the Company’s improved performance was driven by business expansion and launch of several exciting products such as Ice Master, Turbo Freezer as well as L’Espace refrigerator. “Our Personal Care Category had an exciting year with upgrades and new launches for Premier and Venus.

The Premier range was expanded and upgraded with a formula and completely new packaging and look, which was possible after the investment to upgrade our soap manufacturing facilities.”

“PZ Cussons continued as the market leader in the soap segment with Premier, Joy, Imperial Leather, Cussons Baby and Carex. Venus also had some exciting enhancements to the range. Both Venus and Joy Skincare had a good year,” he said.

The Company’s helmsman disclosed that the company invested in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through its PZ Cussons Foundation.

“The PZ Foundation, which was launched two years ago, is now fully up and running. In addition to the 8 projects which were completed and commissioned during the prior year, 11 projects were concluded during the year under review. These projects are consistent with our commitment to support community based projects in our host communities,” he explained.

Although the initial pursuit of the foundation was concentrated in communities hosting the Company’s activities and the focus: education, health, road rehabilitation and provision of portable water, the gesture has been extended to other parts of the federation.

Professor Edozien attributed the Company’s ability to surmount multiple challenges during volatile year to staff loyalty and strategic trainings. “A number of staff trainings were conducted during the year with formal training program becoming fully operational for the more senior mangers, in addition to several developmental programs for the junior levels.”
The Chairman views the future of the Company’s “business in Nigeria with great optimism and are therefore expanding our investment to take advantage of the opportunities that a reformed and revitalized Nigeria economy will bring in the future.”
He highlighted the company’s investment in improving its manufacturing and distribution facilities under the “Project Unity’ program with the commissioning of the Health and Beauty Care production lines in Ikorodu, and a new state of the art National Distribution Centre.

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