Nigeria’s foremost brewer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, has recommended a total dividend of N19.401 billion for the 2018 financial year. The recommendation which amounts to a total dividend of N2.43 per ordinary share of 50kobo each is a 100% payout. The Company attributed the 100% dividend payout recommendation as a demonstration of its strong balance sheet and robust cash flow.
Managing Director of the Company, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel, disclosed at the Pre-AGM press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 that the Company had earlier paid an interim dividend of N4.8 billion in October 2018, which amounted to 60k per share. The final dividend will therefore be N14.6 billion, which comes to N1.83 per share.
An analysis of the Company’s results shows that it recorded a net revenue of N324.38 billion for the 2018 financial year as against N344.53 billion recorded in 2017. Borrut Bel explained that the Marketing and Distribution Expenses for the 2018 financial year increased by 4.8% relative to the cost incurred in 2017, and Administrative Expenses also experienced a 4.4% decline from 21.75billion to 20.78billion, which was largely informed by elimination of bad costs.
He explained that the Company’s cost did not increase at the double-digit growth rate recorded by the country in the year under review, partly to the increased flexibility of its nine brewery and malting plants across the country to produce more brands. He also disclosed that though the excise duty tariff imposed by Federal Government at 43% increase took serious toll on the business, it was difficult for the Company to pass the cost to consumers in view of weak purchasing power.
A further analysis of the Company’s audited results shows that its Profit after Tax (PAT) increased sharply from 14.79billion to 19.43billion between the third quarter and the fourth quarter of the 2018 financial year.
Borrut Bel stated that despite the double digit inflation and other operating challenges which affected the Company’s performance, the impact was reduced by cost saving measures deployed through cost leadership initiatives. He added that the Company is positioned to remain competitive with a view to deliver good returns on investment to shareholders as part of its commitment to ‘Winning with Nigeria.’