BY MICHAEL EBOH
UAC Nigeria Plc has announced plans to invest significantly in its operations and businesses in the years ahead to strengthen its revenue base and ensure improved returns for stakeholders.
Speaking during its 2010 Annual General Meeting, Chairman, UAC, Senator Udo Udoma disclosed that the various business measures already undertaken to transform the company, has helped in no small way in putting the company on the path to sustainable growth and increased profitability.
He said, “Despite the decline in 2010 operating profits, we have closed the year with a stronger cash position. We are poised to invest significantly in the restructured operations and our other business areas. We are confident that the various measures taken and the anticipated improved operating environment point to a brighter future for our company.”
He noted that negotiations with Tiger Brands have been concluded and the business of UAC Foods Limited is already receiving the required support from both partners.
This, he said, is following the approval by the shareholders at the Extra-ordinary General Meeting of December 17, 2010, to restructure the company and the alliance with Tiger Brands Limited of South Africa with respect to UAC’s businesses in the snacks, dairies and water categories.
The UAC Group achieved a turnover of N52.3 billion in its 2010 financial year, dropping by 7.6 per cent from a turnover of N56.6 billion recorded in its 2009 financial year, its profit before tax dropped by 13 per cent to N7.0 billion from N8.08 billion recorded in 2009, while its profit after tax and non_controlling interest stood at N3.2 billion.
Meanwhile, shareholders of the company approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors for the sum of N1.760 billion to be paid out as dividend, representing a dividend per share of N1.10.
Speaking on the economy, Udoma noted that the 140 per cent increase in minimum wage to N18,000, rising commodity prices and other planned economic measures could lead to higher levels of inflation and interest rates.
“Overall outlook,” he said, “Is that liquidity and consumer spending should improve with positive impact on businesses. With the passage of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON Act, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN needs to urgently resolve outstanding issues in the financial sector so that the sector can actively play its intermediation role in the economy.
“It is envisaged that post election, office holders in government at all levels will settle down and give adequate attention to governance and the economy going forward.”