Nestle declares N4.2bn dividend


April 26, 2006/punch




Nestle Nigeria Plc has declared a dividend payout sum of N4.22billion or N8.00 per 50 kobo share of the company. The figure represented a 37 per cent rise over the N5.00 per share declared in 2004.

Chairman, Nestle, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, in his address to shareholders at the company’s 37th Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, said the company declared a profit after tax of N5.30billion for the 2005 financial year. This represented a 38 per cent increase over the 2004 figure of N3.84billion.

Similarly, Nestle’s turnover rose by 21 per cent form the preceding year’s N28.46billion to N34.34billion. Its profit after tax also rose by 30 per cent from N6.10billion in 2004 to N7.91billion in 2005.

Osunkeye said the impressive results were made possible through the innovative and result-oriented strategies adopted in the production, marketing and sales of the company’s reputable brands by the management and staff.

The chairman also seized the opportunity to comment on some developments in the operating environment. For instance, he called on the Federal Government to extend the one-year period of grace granted importers of industry machineries to operate a zero duty rate under ECOWAS Common External Tariff scheme.

According to him, the government should extend the one-year concession period in order to encourage investors to increase their investment as well as consolidating on the ones on ground. Besides, he said, such an extension would have the multiplier effects of creating more employment and engender positive stimulation foe economic activities.

The CET Act became effective in Nigeria on October 1, 2005. In view of the extension’s positive effects on the industrial sector, Osunkeye commended the government for making imported industrial making imported industrial machineries attract zero per cent duty rate, at least for the first one year of the scheme’s operation.

On the operations of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme, Osunkeye, in his address to shareholders, urged SON to approve more foreign laboratories “so that verification and certification of products to be imported could be done without delay.

“This will also ensure that the lead-time companies importing raw materials for their operations is not distrupted. It is also in the interest of the country that the certification fees be substantially reduced, as this is an additional financial burden,” he said.

The Nestle boss also decried the continued imposition of multiple taxes on operating companies by the three tiers of government. According to him, “There is the urgent need for taxes to be streamlined by the various tiers of government and administered carefully so that the business community would be convinced of the commitment of the government to provide a conducive environment for business,” he stated.

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