By Peter Egwuatu

NIGERIAN Breweries, NB Plc, yesterday, said it will seek shareholders approval at its forth coming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to convert their cash dividend to ordinary shares.

The Managing Director/CEO, NB Plc, Mr. Nicolaas A. Vervelde, who disclosed this to Vanguard at the sideline of the company’s Pre-AGM press briefing in Lagos stated: “We want to consolidate on our balance sheet and so we will seek shareholders approval for the conversion of a proposed final dividend to scrip issue.

“We are going to pay 100 per cent of our net profit to our shareholders as dividend. So the shareholders are expected to get N20.5 billion as the final dividend, having received an interim dividend of N1.00 per share. So, the total dividend declared by the company for the financial year 2016 is N28.4 billion, translating to N3.58 per share.”

Vervelde said the price for the scrip issue will be N130 per share, adding that “if approved by shareholders it will increase their shareholding, but it will also not affect share capital of the company.”

When asked why some of its newly introduced products are not seen in the market, Vervelde explained that there were some challenges regarding their production in terms of     securing foreign exchange, forex.

He stated: “We will intensify effort to get those products distributed widely as some of the challenges are being overcome. We are doing over 40 per cent local content, we plan to grow it to 50 per cent and thereafter move to 60 per cent.”

Commenting on its financial year ended 2016, the NB boss said: “The year was challenging with dwindling government revenue, high exchange rate, high rate of inflation, increase in foreign debt, low oil prices, disruption to oil production and foreign exchange scarcity.”

All these impacted on our business; hence we grew revenue by 6.7 per cent to N313.7 billion from N293.9 billion in 2015; operating activities declined by 15 per cent; Profit for the year dropped by 25 per cent to N28.4 billion from N38 billion in 2015.

Looking at the future, he stated: “It is anticipated that economic activities will improve in 2017 considering the far reaching fiscal and monetary measures being planned and implemented by the federal government. We have prospect for growth given the size of Nigeria population as we expect the per capita consumption to grow once the economy picks up.”

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