Nigeria’s foremost brewer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, has recommended a total dividend of N19.401 billion for the 2018 financial year. The recommendation which amounts to a total dividend of N2.43 per ordinary share of 50 kobo each is a 100 per cent payout.
The Company attributed the 100 per cent dividend payout recommendation as a demonstration of its strong balance sheet and robust cash flow.
Managing Director of the Company, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, disclosed at the Pre-AGM press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 that the company had earlier paid an interim dividend of N4.8 billion in October 2018, which amounted to 60 kobo per share. The final dividend will therefore be N14.6 billion, which comes to N1.83 per share.
An analysis of the company’s results shows that it recorded a net revenue of N324.38 billion for the 2018 financial year as against N344.53 billion recorded in 2017. Borrut Bel explained that the Marketing and Distribution Expenses for the 2018 financial year increased by 4.8 per cent relative to the cost incurred in 2017, and Administrative Expenses also experienced a 4.4 per cent decline from 21.75 billion to 20.78 billion, which was largely informed by elimination of bad costs.
He explained that the Company’s cost did not increase at the double-digit growth rate recorded by the country in the year under review, partly to the increased flexibility of its nine brewery and malting plants across the country to produce more brands. He also disclosed that though the excise duty tariff imposed by Federal Government at 43 per cent increase took serious toll on the business, it was difficult for the Company to pass the cost to consumers in view of weak purchasing power.
The board of the brewing company was however confident of a positive financial year despite the challenging operating environment for manufacturing in the country, while observing that the operating environment in the first quarter (Q1) 2019, remained challenging and similar to 2018, but expressed confidence in its clear strategy to deliver good return on investment for all its stakeholders.
A further analysis of the Company’s audited results shows that its Profit after Tax (PAT) increased sharply from 14.79 billion to 19.43 billion between the third quarter and the fourth quarter of the 2018 financial year.
Borrut Bel stated that despite the double digit inflation and other operating challenges which affected the Company’s performance, the impact was reduced by cost saving measures deployed through cost leadership initiatives. He added that the Company is positioned to remain competitive with a view to deliver good returns on investment to shareholders as part of its commitment to ‘Winning with Nigeria.’
In Q1 2019, Fidelity Bank increased its profit before tax by 33.96 per cent to N6.7 billion from N5 billion, while the profit after tax rose by 28.38 per cent to N5.9 billion from N4.6 billion, just as the earnings per share appreciated by 28.38 per cent to 21 kobo from 16 kobo, with the shareholders’ fund growing to N202 billion from N179.7 million.