GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline Plc, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, has promised its shareholders better return on their investments as it declared an ordinary dividend of 30k per share for the year ended December 2015.
In the year under review, the company recorded a turnover of N30.634 billion. Pre-tax profit dropped 58 percent to N1.157 billion from N2.752 billion recorded a year ago. Similarly, profit after tax dipped 47.8 percent to N965.047 million from N1.848 billion declared in the same period of 2014.
Speaking at the 45th Annual General Meeting held at Muson Centre Onikan in Lagos, Mr. Edmund Onuzo, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said that despite the prevailing economic challenges of 2015, the Company remains committed to ensuring that its shareholders get returns on their investments.
According to Onuzo, the decline in profitability recorded by the company was attributed to a very challenging year; during which time the country witnessed economic adversities. Nevertheless, despite the prevailing challenges, the Board recommended for approval a dividend of N358,761 million to be paid to shareholders, representing N30K per share, subject to appropriate withholding tax deduction.
Onuzo emphasized that in spite of the challenges of 2015, GSK still invested significantly in marketing campaigns and activations to support its brands and demonstrate commitment to their loyal consumers.
He concluded that the company is strongly committed to attaining and sustaining high performance and will continue to invest in adequate human capital, sustainable corporate responsibility initiatives while also ensuring that the company fulfils its mission to improve the quality of lives in Nigeria by helping people to do more, feel better and live longer. Onuzo maintained that GSK’s focus is to continually maximise existing business opportunities with renewed commitment to a sustainable business through investment, product innovation and capacity development.
In response, the shareholders approved the Board’s recommendation, lauded the Board for its performance and urged them to continue to work tirelessly to take the company to greater heights and also produce a better result in the new financial year.
The Board of GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc, at an Extra Ordinary General Meeting held immediately after the AGM, also recommended for approval by shareholders, a binding offer from Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd (SBF) for the divestment of its drinks bottling and distribution business following due diligence and negotiations between SBF and GSK Nigeria.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Onuzo said “The divestment decision was reached to enable GSK Nigeria refocus and reinvest in the rapid expansion of the business’s retained business portfolio and deliver more value to shareholders. He explained that despite this transaction, GSK Nigeria would still be listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and would continue to manufacture, market, and distribute a portfolio of leading healthcare brands including Sensodyne, Panadol, Horlicks and, in future, the legacy Novartis brands, such as Voltaren and Otrivin”.
He concluded by saying that, GSK Plc UK is committed to Nigeria in the long term and will continue to develop strategies to invest in the business to support the GSK consumer business.
The recommended special dividend of 60k per share was also approved by the shareholders.