By PETER EGWUATU
… Posts N2.7 bn PAT
Shareholders of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc have approved the proposed N1.19 billion proposed by its Board of Directors at the third Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held in Lagos for the financial year ended March 31, 2012.
The dividend, which translated into 15 kobo per share for every 50 kobo share, showed an increase of 15 per cent above the 13 kobo paid the previous year.
Addressing the shareholders at the AGM, Chairman of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko, said having achieved good performance in the year, the Board of Directors recommended a total dividend pay-out of N1.19 billion.
He stated that the recommendation was in line with the dividend policy of Honeywell in providing shareholders with steady, growing and sustainable dividends.
According to Otudeko, “The financial year ended March 31, 2012, was a remarkable one for the company as Honeywell Flour Mills recorded improved performance in spite of the various challenges especially in the area of raw materials, energy and logistics.
“Broad sales growth was achieved across our strong food brands resulting in a 12 per cent increase in revenue from N34 billion to N38 billion. Good management of our costs led to a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N3.66 billion, relative to last year’s performance of N3.51 billion; a growth of four per cent year-on-year. Our company’s Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by eight per cent to N2.7 billion, from N2.49 billion achieved in 2011.”
He added that shareholders’ funds and total assets increased by 11 per cent and 54 per cent to N17 billion and N45 billion respectively. The chairman said the company was being positioned to be the leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturer in Nigeria.
“In the last one year, we made significant investments, not only in increasing plants and machinery capacity but also in improving human capabilities through various overseas and local technical trainings and leadership development programmes for staff to further drive innovation and growth,” he said.
In his address to shareholders, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell Flour Mills, Mr. Babatunde Odunayo said despite the challenges, the company was able to successfully defend their quality superiority and brand leadership positions across all product offerings.
“We are proud to say that our flour, Semolina, and Wheat meal products remained in peak demand whilst significant growth was experienced in respect of our pasta and noodles products,” he said.
Speaking on the expansion project, Odunayo disclosed that the new plant would be commissioned in October 2012, which he said, would enable the company to achieve a 62 per cent capacity increase in whole wheat meal, from 1,610 metric tonnes (mt) per 24 hours to 2,610mt/24 hours.
“Flour output will increase by 55 per cent from 1,534mt/24 hours whilst Semolina’s daily output will almost double, from 125mt to 235mt. The existing Mills as well as the new ones have been configured in such amanner as to permit us the flexibility to make changes to our production mix at any point so that actual production can reflect the prevailing customer needs and attendant profitability profile,” he said.