By Michael Eboh
Guinness Nigeria Plc has declared a dividend of N4.03 billion for its shareholders for its financial year ended, June 30, 2018, translating to a dividend of N1.84 per share.
Speaking at the 68th Annual General Meeting of the company, Chairman of Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Savage, disclosed that the dividend represented an improvement of 318 per cent compared to a dividend of N963.77 million declared in 2017.
The dividend, which was approved by the shareholders, translated to a dividend per share of 184 kobo compared to 64 kobo per share in the 2017 financial year.
The company also recorded a 249 per cent increase in its profit after tax for the 2018 financial year, rising from N1.924 billion in 2017 to N6.72 billion in 2018.
This was on the back of a 31 per cent improvement in its operating profit, which rose to N13.39 billion, from N10.19 billion on the 2017 financial year.
The company’s revenue rose by 14 per cent to N142.98 billion in 2018 from N125.92 billion recorded in the 2017 financial year.
Commenting on its performance, Chairman of the company, Mr. Babatunde Savage, stated that despite the continued decline of the beer market, the challenging business environment and the intense competition in the industry, the strength of the Guinness brands and its adoption of a total beverage alcoholic strategy led to the significant improvement in its turnover in the year under review.
He said, “The poor consumer purchasing power in the country had a marked effect on the brewing industry. The beer market declined by 14 per cent in volume during the year, driven by Ready-to-drink, RTD, stout and lager, which declined by 29 per cent, 15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. Looking at performance by categories, the premium category grew consistently during this period. Similarly, the value category has shown consistent growth.
“The malted soft drinks market lost 27.4 per cent and 19.4 per cent in volume and value respectively during the year. Looking at the categories, the value category grew volume share (+2.4 points) at the expense of mainstream and premium (-1.4 points and -0.9 points respectively) in the 2018 financial year.
Savage expressed confidence that the strategic initiatives being introduced by the management of the company; its continued investment in its brands and people and its focus to revolutionise its distribution channels would continue to deliver growth for the business in the coming years.
Savage further disclosed that the company was continually innovating and strengthening its brands to ensure they are the preferred choice in every product category, while promising to sustain its profitability and create value for shareholders.
He added that the company, through its financial performance, had demonstrated business resilience and displayed its commitment to grant shareholders returns on their investments.
According to him, although the challenges in the operating environment are yet to ease, the execution of our strategy is working well as we delivered both top line growth and margin expansion while also increasing investment behind its brands.
Going forward, Savage stressed that the company would continue to focus on the three strategic pillars of productivity, expansion of its portfolio, as well as the execution of the commercial footprint initiatives to drive the business forward.
Also speaking, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr.Baker Magunda, said, “in line with our strategy, Guinness Nigeria remains committed to driving returns on investment to shareholders. We also remain resolute on our commitment to continuously invest in our business to secure a sustainable future for our stakeholders.
“Guinness Nigeria is a company with strong and diversified portfolio and remains in leading positions in many of the fastest growing categories in the beverage industry. To ensure continued long-term growth, we are investing in key categories and actively managing the portfolio to ensure we stay ahead of consumer trends.
“Our consumers remain at the heart of everything we do to drive growth, ensuring it benefits both our shareholders and society.”