By NKIRUKA NNOROM
UAC of Nigeria Plc has expressed optimism that investments and acquisitions it made in the previous year has positioned it for sustainable growth and improved performance in the coming years.
Within the 2013 financial year, UACN acquired majority stake in two new companies – Livestock Feeds and Portland Paints and Products Plc.
The company currently has strategic partnership with Tiger Brands Limited for UAC Foods Limited and Famous Brands UAC Restaurants Limited and Imperial Logistics for MDS Logistics Plc.
Addressing shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in Lagos, the Chairman, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, assured that the company would continue to build on its strategy of working with partners that bring value to the business.
He said: “We are very optimistic as to the growth prospect of UAC in the medium term as we integrate the two newly acquired businesses into the UAC family and continue to build on the synergies created by our various strategic alliances with other industry leaders.
“The future of UAC is indeed bright as we are poised to reap the benefits of the investments we are currently making as well as the capacity upgrades we are undertaking in our various businesses.”
“As we continue to align our businesses to deliver good returns to our shareholders, we have taken other strategic initiatives geared towards minimizing our business risk and exposure. These include on-going implementation of Enterprise-wide Risk Management framework and the deployment of SAP (Systems, Applications, Products in Data Processing) as our Enterprise Resource Planning software,” Udo Udoma added.
He disclosed that the company posted impressive financial performance during the year despite difficult business operating environment characterised by erratic supply of public electricity, weak logistics, insecurity, limited public service and other costs of operations attributable to poor infrastructure.
He stated that UACN recorded top line growth of 13 percent from N69.6 billion in 2012 to N78.7 billion in 2013, even as operational profit grew from N11.5 billion to N15.3 billion during the period, attributing it to proactive responses to market dynamics and competitive pressures by the management.
Also at the meeting, the chairman announced that due to the impressive performance recorded in 2013 and in line with the company’s dividend policy, the Board has recommended a dividend of N3.4 billion representing 31 percent over the N2.5 billion paid in 2012, which was unanimously approved by shareholders at the meeting.
Commenting on Nigeria’s centennial celebrations, he said, “As the country celebrates 100 years of the establishment of Nigeria by amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates, we are proud of the contributions our company has made to the growth of the Nigerian economy over the period. We intend to make even greater contributions as we enter into our second century of existence.”