Nestle Nigeria pledges turnaround in 2024 business operations

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By Rukayat Adeyemi

The Chairman, Board of Directors, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr Gbenga Oyebode, on Wednesday, expressed optimism for a turnaround in the company’s business operation in the ongoing year.

Oyebode gave the assurance at the 55th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.

He said the company would strategically focus on fostering innovation to deliver affordable nutrition to its loyal customers as it progresses through the year 2024.

The chairman stated that Nestle would also commit to achieving operational excellence and nurturing strong relationships with its valued customers and stakeholders.

“We will therefore sustain investments in our operations, enhance the capacity of our teams and implement initiatives that address social and environmental problems, promote nutrition, and support local communities to create shared value,” he said.

According to him, in the year 2023, Nestle’s revenue increased by N100 billion to N5471.1 billion, from N446.8 billion posted in the year 2022, indicating 22.4 per cent growth.

Oyebode said the company’s gross profit also increased by 39.4 per cent in the year 2023 to N217.1 billion, from N155.8 billion recorded in the previous year.

He revealed that the firm’s operating profit in the year under review increased by 41.5 per cent to N122.7 billion, from N86.87 billion posted previously.

The chairman further said that the company, however, recorded a loss for the year under review.

According to him, Nestle’s post-tax profit for the year 2023 stood at a loss of N79.4 billion, indicating 62.4 per cent decline, compared to a profit of N48.9 billion posted in the year 2022.

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Oyebode noted that the macro-economic headwinds in the year 2023 were unprecedented with the impact of cash scarcity in the first quarter of the year and the removal of the fuel subsidy in the second quarter.

“In 2023, we found opportunities for expansion and innovation to create impact at scale.

“We ensured the availability and accessibility of the nutritious food and beverages families across Nigeria choose, through responsible local sourcing and production.

“We witnessed changes in consumer preferences, market dynamics, fiscal and monetary policies, as well as the regulatory landscape.

“The year thus presented us an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience as market leader by remaining true to our core values and
adapting our strategies to ensure sustained growth as the environment became increasingly challenging,” he said.

Oyebode appreciated the shareholders and employees of the company for their unwavering support for the firm.

He also lauded the company’s management team for showing leadership and taking timely and effective measures in response to the unstable market realities.

Reacting on the plan, Chief Timothy Adeshiyan, Patron, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, said that the firm’s overall performance was outstanding despite the loss recorded in its financials.

Adeshiyan noted that the company’s bottom line was affected by the country’s economic downturn in the year 2023, while expressing hope for improvement in the ongoing year.

Mr Okezie Boniface, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, lauded Nestle for being able to grow its balance sheet, despite the loss recorded.

Boniface said that the perfomance of Nestle for the outgone year was not unusual, as most manufacturing companies were affected by the high cost of doing business and the foreign exchange rate of the country.

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Meanwhile, the company declared no dividend for its shareholders as a result of the loss it recorded in the year under review.

The shareholders also elected Ms Maryam Mohammed and re-elected Mr Mauricio Alarcon as directors of the company.

They also approved N62 million each as annual fees for the Chairman of its Board of Directors and three other Non-Executive Directors for the financial year ending Dec. 31, 2024. (NAN)

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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