By Ganiyu Obaaro
Berger Paints Nigeria Plc posted a turnover of N2.5bn in 2008.
This represented an increase of 11 per cent over its performance in 2007.
The company‘s Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Clement Olowokande, disclosed this on Tuesday during the 49th Annual General Meeting of the firm in Lagos.
Olowokande said that there was also a significant improvement in the firm‘s profit before tax from N212m to N245m.
He linked the results to the company’s strategic refocusing on value creating products.
He said that the management was more prudent in optimising the use of the assets of the company, especially in the areas of key working capital items.
He described the company‘s current positive liquidity position of N368m as a substantial recovery from its 2005 negative balance of N543m in total exposure to the banks.
Based on the achievements, Olowokande said that the board, after a review of the audited account, recommended a 30k dividend for every 50k share of the company.
This, he added, was in fulfillment of the promise that the firm would resume dividend payment.
According to him, ”2009 promises to be very challenging. The global economic meltdown, contrary to every assurance on the immunity of the Nigerian economy, has shown serious effect on the productive sector, especially.
”Crude oil price drop has meant lower foreign exchange earning with a significant devaluation of the naira against major foreign currencies.
”A severe reduction in fresh foreign direct investment, coupled with a call up of funds by foreign investors, has led to the present liquidity squeeze.
”Port congestion is now an acute problem that has defied all attempts by ports operators. The effect of this development means continuing increase in the cost of goods and services in the face of a decline in consumption.”
Inspite of all this, Olowokande said he was confident that the company would end the year 2009 stronger and it takes the advantage of the opportunities these challenges and crisis present.