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Shareholders applaud DunlopââââÃ


By Ifeanyi Onuba


Shareholders of Dunlop Nigeria Plc have applauded the decision of the company’s management to diversify its operations and explore other sectors of the economy.


The company, which had incurred consistent losses since 2003, has concluded plans to diversify its operations in real estate and deepen its investment into the rubber plantation industry.


Some of the shareholders, who spoke with our correspondent on Monday commended the move, saying it was a welcome development.


According to them, diversification of the company’s operation will enable it to return to profitability within the shortest time possible.


While expressing dissatisfaction over the company’s 2008 financial performance, the President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Mr. Faruk Umar, said the inconsistent policies of the Federal Government contributed significantly to the company’s problems.


According to him, “The Federal Government and the regulatory authorities have not been consistent with their policies. They contributed to the downward trend of activities in the capital market through misguided statements.


“The Central Bank of Nigeria changes policies at will. Instead of making misguided statements, why don’t they have a forum where issues relating to industrial growth can be discussed?”


He, however, advised the management of the company not to rely on the intervention of government as it had not been consistent with its policies.


Similarly, the President of the Renaissance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Olufemi Timothy, argued that the need for diversifications became imperative in order to avoid a situation where shareholders’ funds would be eroded.


He urged the company’s management to deepen investment in the real estate sub-sector as it appeared more profitable than the company’s current business.


The Chairman of the company, Mr. Jabez Lawuyi, explained that the management had put in place adequate measures to return the company to profitability.


He pointed out that the measures would include a substantial redirection of its resources into the real estate industry and the exploitation of opportunities that had unfolded as a result of excess rubber from plantations.


He noted that contrary to speculations that the factory was closed down, the company only scaled down manufacturing operations in July this year, with the hope that adequate measures would be taken to put in place a more favourable environment for manufacturing.


He added that the company was committed to remaining a major player in the tyre and automobile industry, saying that substantial expertise, knowledge and experience gathered over the years would be employed to return the company to profitability. - punchng


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