July 6, 2018
By Peter OBIORA InvestAdvocate
Lagos (INVESTADVOCATE)-Shareholders of food and beverage makers, Cadbury Nigeria Plc at the company’s 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday endorsed the payment of 16 kobo per share dividend amounting to N301.5 million for the period ended December 31, 2017 despite harsh operating environment.
“The directors are pleased to recommend to shareholders at this meeting, the declaration of a total dividend of N301, 512,314 i.e. 16 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each. If the proposed dividend is approved it will be subject to the deduction of withholding tax at the appropriate rate at the time of payment,’ Atedo Peterside, chairman of the company said in his statement.
Cadbury says warrants for the payment of dividend will be posted on Monday, 9th July 2018 to holders of shares whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on 8th June, 2018.
The food and beverage producer in 2016 audited year end paid no dividend to investors; but as soon as it bounced back to profitability, will now pay its shareholders a 16 kobo per share dividend in the review period.
Cadbury Nigeria had the last time it rewarded investors with dividend in 2015 paid 65 kobo per share culminating to a gross dividend of N1.221 billion.
Shareholders that commented on the company’s performance at the AGM said the board of directors and management need to focus on their area of strength in the food and beverage industry; so as to boost its performance and leverage on its market share.
The shareholders advised the board to diversify its product offering which will go a long way in boosting the top and bottom line of the company’s financial position, particularly now they are in profit.
Peterside, chairman of the board said all their suggestions and concerns are well noted, according to him, the company is working hard to come up with different products in the market and would not want to disclose such plans because of competitors.
In terms of governance, ethics and compliance, he assured the company is operating within the confines of good business practice and corporate governance in all its operations.
“Our Company upholds the tenets of good business practices in all its operations. At the Board level, we continually emphasize adherence to strict standards of ethics and professionalism as our guiding business principle. We also ensure that our management and staff adhere to high standards of business integrity and constantly inculcate these values in our employees through various engagement platforms,” he added.
According to him, key priorities of the company for 2018 include sustaining focus on quality, driving improvements in productivity and reinforcing operational efficiencies to maximize Cadbury’s competitive advantage.
Also, the company intends to drive growth ahead of competition to increase market share within its product categories, developing an organisation of high potential talent and sustaining the company’s aggressive Route-to-Market initiatives.
A review of the company 2017 audited report ended December 31 shows that revenue grew by 10 percent to N33.07 billion from N29.97 billion posted in 2016
Profit for the period surged 200 percent to N299.99 million from a loss position of N296.40 million in 2016; indicating a profit of N299.99 million in 2017.
Pretax profit of the food and beverage firm, increased 163 percent to N350.31 million from a loss of N562.87 million in 2016.
Revenue of Cadbury Nigeria also increased eight percent to N7.43 billion for N6.86 billion declared in the 2016 year end.
Mondelez International has a majority equity interest of 74.97 percent in Cadbury Nigeria through its holding in Cadbury Schweppes Overseas Limited. Other Nigerian individuals and institutional shareholders hold the remaining 25.03 percent equity stake in the company.
Other than CSOL, no other shareholder held more than five percent of the issued share capital of the company as at December 31, 2017.