As investors continued to savour the N12.55 dividend per share they received from Nestle Nigeria Plc for the year-ended December 31, 2011, the company has begun 2012 on a positive note.
The company has announced a growth 140 per cent in profit after tax from N2.571 billion to N6.173 billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.
Specifically, Nestle recorded a turnover of N28.674 billion in Q1 of 2012, showing an increase of 41 per cent above the N20.383 billion in the corresponding period of 2011.
Gross profit rose by 42 per cent from N8.419 billion to N11. 997 billion, while profit before tax soared by 113 per cent from N3.455 billion to N7.349 billion.
A statement by the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestle Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Adenekan, last Friday, quoted the board of directors as describing the Q1 results as exceptional and in line with management expectations.
“The good performance in the period under review was attributed to capital investment in various infrastructural upgrades at Agbara (Ogun State) factory as well as additional sales activities in March,” the directors said.
According to the company, additional ‘stock build’ was required in Q1 one for a smooth transition to a new ultra-modern distribution centre under construction in Agbara.
“The new N5.4 billion warehouse facility is designed to manage the capacity increases following massive infrastructural upgrades at Agbara factory in the last four years for volume increase. Once completed, it is expected that the new distribution complex will see the company growth for the next 10 years,” the directors added.
They added that that these results should not be extrapolated for the rest of the year, assuring stakeholders of continued commitment of Nestlé management to the earnings forecast for 2012 already communicated to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting recently, its chairman, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye said its impressive results in the recent years and 2011 in particular resulted from Nestlé Continuous Excellence.
“This an initiative in operational efficiency which enables the company to eliminate waste, increase efficiency and effectiveness, and improve quality in all operations. The company was able to maintain the positive momentum towards sustainable, profitable and capital efficient growth because of the mix of short –term performance with long-term thinking. This enabled Nestlé to deliver improved top and bottom-line performance whilst also investing in longer-term growth platforms,” he said.
He added that in pursuit of the company’s nutrition, health and wellness agenda, Nestlé had implemented relevant innovation targeting the needs of low-income consumers most likely to suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.