By Jonah Nwokpoku
Shareholders of Nestle Nigeria Plc have approved the N21.8 billion dividend proposed by the directors of the company at the 47th Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the company held in Lagos, last week. The declared dividend represents the interim dividend declared during the year from the pioneer profits as at the year ended 31 December 2014, plus the final dividend proposed for the preceding year but declared during the current year.
The N19 per share final dividend approved by the shareholders is composed of N5 and N14 from the pioneer and non-pioneer profits of the company respectively. The N19 dividend was a result of Nestle’s impressive growth recorded for the year ended 2015 which saw revenue rise by 6 per cent to N151.272 billion from N143.329 billion in 2014.
The company also reported a 20 per cent increase in profit before income tax, to N29 billion in 2015 from N24.446 billion recorded in 2014. This is even as profit for the year 2015 was up by 7 per cent to N24 billion from N22.236 billion recorded in 2014.
The chairman of Nestle Nigeria, Mr. David Ifezulike told shareholders that although the company faced the prevailing tough economic environment, its growth strategies enabled it stay ahead of the pack, thereby growing market share improving on the bottom line significantly.
He said: “The year 2015 was a remarkable one for Nigeria, with each quarter posing its own hurdles for the economy. The economy posted an average GDP growth of 3.05 per cent for the first three quarters of 2015. The performance has been attributed to steeply declining international crude oil prices, foreign currency restrictions, security challenges in the north, among others.”