By WILLIAM JIMOH
National Salt Company of Nigeria, NASCO Plc, has announced the diversification of its production line into tomato and vegetable oil segments in order to boost profitability.
According to the company, the development was necessitated to better reflect the portfolio of activities that the company is currently embarking on.
Addressing shareholders at its 2013 Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman Board of Directors of the company, stated that they have been able to undergo the expansion process without any borrowing, adding that this will better position the company for profitability and higher returns for both stakeholders and shareholders of the company.
According to him, “As promised in 2013 Annual General Meeting, I am happy to announce to you that our company entered into foods segment in March 2013 with DAN-Q cubes. We intend to re-enter the tomato and vegetable oil segments before the end of the year.
This positive development necessitated the resolution put before you today to change the name of your Company from National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc to NASCON Industries Plc, which better reflects the portfolio of our activities into the years ahead.”
The company at the end of the 2013 financial year posted a turnover of N10.8 billion, operating profit before tax of N4.0 billion, while its profit after tax was N2.7 billion. The turnover for the financial year under review reflects a decline in comparison to N 13.4 billion posted in 2012 financial year.
This performance, according to the chairman, reflects the impact of the operating environment on turnover and response by way of measures and policies put in place to ensure that the company continues operating at profitability.
“ We are, however, committed to the continued growth of the business and we are implementing policies that will ensure that your company remains competitive so as to deliver sustainable returns to all shareholders.
“The global economy continued to exhibit signs of economic turbulence, which has negatively impacted business operations globally. The Nigerian economy was no exception, which invariably affected our company’s operations in the year under review.
“We continued to face the usual challenges of the business environment. Northern security challenges and other issues such as high cost of energy, poor infrastructure, uncoordinated tax administration, amongst others, played a role in preventing the manufacturing sector in the country from reaching its full potential,” he said.