Shareholders of Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Plc have approved the proposal by the directors of the company to pay 50 kobo dividend for the year ended December 31, 2009. Speaking at NBC’s 58th yearly general meeting in Lagos, shareholders of the company, while commending the management and board for the result, called for an improved performance in the financial year 2010.During the year under review, according to the Chairman of NBC, Olusegun Apata, turnover increased from N80.1 billion in 2008 to N90.2 billion in 2009, while profit before taxation and extra ordinary items grew from N2.44 billion to N4.33 billion.
Also within the period, NBC experienced high input costs, mainly from an increase in the price of sugar by more than 16 per cent in 2009.Apata said that the cost of diesel, which is used for power generation in NBC’s 13 plants and depots and prices for packaging materials, especially for one-way pack, also went up.Apata explained that during the year, the company rolled out a further change on the route to market via Manual Distribution Centre (MDC) introduced to develop and strengthen NBC’s market position.
He added that the key focus is to increase distribution coverage while at the same time creating profitable business to NBC’s trade partners.Speaking further, Apata said: “In 2009, our supply chain continued in its effort to further upgrade our production facilities and improve on our product and package quality.“The juice packaging was changed from brick to prisma, which in turn boosted our sales’ volume in this segment of the market and positively affected our market share.
“Supply chain also played an important in rebuilding our Benin plant and facilitated the installation of a new juice line which is under construction at our Ikeja plant will further boost our market share and profit at completion.“The company continued investing on our staff during the year through varius local and overseas training. The graduate management training program and the technical training schools still remain our priority to source for young and talented graduates to strengthen our management cadre”, said Apata.
In his submission, the new Managing Director of NBC, Mr. James Lafferty, pledged to join hands with others to lift the fortunes of the company.Lafferty, who was full of praises for NBC staff, said among other agenda, his priority was to create a conducive work environment for the staff.