Shareholders of Unilever Nigeria Plc have approved N378.3m proposed by the company as dividend for the year ended December 31, 2014, translating to 10 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each.
The shareholders, who gave their approval at the company’s 90th annual general meeting in Lagos, urged the company to improve on its performance this year.
The company posted revenue of N55.7bn for the 2014 financial year amid the harsh operating environment, compared to N60.004bn recorded the previous year.
Its gross profit stood at N20.170bn as against N22.450bn in 2013.
The shareholders, who expressed confidence in the future of the company, pledged to support its efforts aimed at becoming a leader in the industry.
The Chairman, Unilever Nigeria, Mr. Nnaemeka Achebe, explained that the tough business decisions taken in 2014 had produced a company better placed to thrive within the ever increasing “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous” operating environment.
He assured the shareholders that going forward, the company would focus more on reducing costs.
He said, “Having taken significant lessons from 2014, we will be more aggressive about driving down costs and actively finding savings throughout all facets of our value chain. Our ambition is to continue to deliver value to all stakeholders and positively affect our communities by leveraging the Unilever sustainable living plan.”
On the need to reduce cases of unclaimed dividends, Achebe said Unilever had continued to intensify efforts to drive the implementation of electronic dividend and bonus payment system.
He added that the board and management of the company would continue to protect the interest of shareholders. He said the decision to pay dividend was a difficult one as the board was caught between delivering shareholders’ expectation on dividend and providing the right financing platform for the company to deliver its growth targets.
The chairman urged the shareholders to complete the e-dividend and e-bonus application form and submit to the registrars.
The Managing Director, Mr. Yaw Nsarkoh, while responding to questions at the meeting, said the company would do all it could to ensure that it reduced operating expenses to an appreciable level in the current year and ensure that the company open more markets for its products in order to increase its revenue.
He also assured the shareholders that the company would always put their interest first, adding that “all that the company is doing now, when it begins to germinate, will lead to bountiful dividend in the nearest future.”
Source : Punch