Shareholders of Nestle Nigeria Plc have endorsed a final dividend of N30.517 billion, culminating to N38.50 per share due to every of its investor for the 2018 financial year.
The shareholders who spoke on the 50th yearly general meeting of Nestle, in Lagos on Tuesday, also urged the board to consider issuing bonus shares to the investors going forward.
Specifically, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, applauded the company for ensuring steady and enhanced dividend payment over the years.
He stressed the need for the firm to decentralise its operations to save cost, noting that N43.4 billion marketing and distribution expense during the period under review was on the high side, and urged it to develop strategies aimed at reducing the huge unclaimed dividend figure.
Reviewing its performance, Nestle Chairman, David Ifezulike said the 2018 financial year was occasioned by unpredictable changes in the business environment, noting that the influx of competing products presented both a challenge and an opportunity for innovation to continue to delight consumers.
According to Ifezulike, economic activity remained relatively weak in the fourth quarter of 2018, after the slight increase in activities in the third quarter due to higher oil production.
“On the average, spending power further decreased due to the elevated inflationary pressures as we witnessed more value driven consumption decisions,” he said, adding that despite the harsh operating environment, revenue increased by nine per cent while profit after tax rose 28 per cent.
He added that in line with the policy of making shareholders the ultimate beneficiaries of the company’s business growth, the board recommended a final dividend of N30.517 billion or N38.50 per ordinary share.
“As in the past years, Nestlé brands remained leaders in their categories even with the influx of competitive brands in the market,” noting that marketing initiatives focused on creating nutrition awareness for its consumers who trust the brand’s ability to deliver high quality nutritious products.
He added that the extension of single serve pack formats has helped Nestle to drive penetration of its brands, even as it invested in expansion of its routes to market, working with a motivated and dedicated distribution network.
On 2019 outlook, Ifezulike said: “Confident in the capacity of our people, our dedication to deliver high quality, tasty nutrition choices to our consumers and the continuous support of our stakeholders, we look towards 2019 with cautious optimism.
“We will continue to leverage our research and development capacities to delight our consumers while creating value for our business and everyone across our value chain.”