NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, one Nigeria’s leading integrated food and agro-allied company, reported a 3.37% decline in revenue to US$1.45 billion (N524.41bn) for the year ended March 31, 2019 from  US$1.51 billion in the previous year.

The company’s profit after tax also declined by 70.62% to US$11.09 million (N4.00 bn) during the period despite a 30% reduction of its financing cost.

According to a statement issued by the company, its finance cost dropped by US$27.18 million (N9.8bn) while total net debt reduced by US$58.8 million (N21.2bn) which it said would enable the group to increase its dividend by 20 per cent.

The company has proposed a dividend of N1.20 for the 2018 financial year, subject to shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting.

“Continuous growth is envisaged in key segments such as food and agro-allied, as targeted strategies deliver improved margins and operational efficiencies.

“The continuous implementation of turnaround initiatives in the agro-allied business, accelerated expansion in the business-to-consumer segment, optimal operation of our supply chain and further balance sheet management is expected to result in higher profitability,” the company said in a statement.

The Group Chief Financial Officer, FMN, Anders Kristiansson, said the company’s strategy to restructure the balance sheet base and optimise financing costs had started to yield the desired results.

He noted that the business started showing increased levels of efficiency, despite ongoing pressure on consumer disposable income in many of the target categories.

The Group Managing Director, Paul Gbededo, said, “We have made substantial progress this year, even in the face of an adverse and challenging business environment.

“Our growth and efficiency initiatives across our various functions and businesses have started to show anticipated gains as we continue to focus on organic sales growth and position the business for continuous profitability.”

He noted that the company had undergone several functional and structural changes within the last year, with innovation and focus on consumers being at the heart of strategic decisions.

Gbededo added that he was positive that the company would see greater achievements in the following quarters as it continued to focus on value creation for shareholders.