NIGERIA – FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, makers of dairy products, has injected at least N4 billion (Euros 20 million) in infrastructure in the economy, in a bid to sustain its leading position in the dairy industry in the country.
The company, which invested the money in the upgrading of its facilities to meet global standards and help to achieve minimum national adequate consumption of milk products, is also set to unveil a new campaign in Lagos on Saturday May 23 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Peak Milk.
Speaking during a media chat at its corporate headquarters in Ikeja, the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Rahul Colaco, said the company has fully incorporated social responsibility into its operational strategy and is striving to help provide nourishment for millions of poor children in the country.
Colaco, who revealed that his organisation has shifted its power source totally from diesel to gas, which is more environment-friendly, noted that FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria has also invested in milk tankers and wants to contribute to ensuring fresh local milk in Nigeria.
He added that the diary giant is investing in Nigeria to stimulate the market and correspondingly the economy, noting that sustainability in the diary products sector is key to the country’s overall economic growth.
He disclosed that the company’s manufacturing operations have been in existence in Nigeria for the past 42 years and added that more than 90 per cent of its raw materials requirements are sourced locally, which helps to mitigate the effects of the downturn in the dollar-denominated global economy.
According to Colaco “milk is much more nourishing to human health and we have embraced the challenge in helping malnourished and poor children to overcome their problems. There is a need to develop more sufficiency in milk provision, but there is also the need to achieve a good and delicate balance because of its perishability”.
He revealed that it took India – his native country – 30 years to achieve total self-sufficiency in dairy production through the White Revolution, but he admitted that there is no time-line to achieve same in Nigeria, due to different peculiar factors including feed for the cows, which makes a big difference in their milk production.
On the issue of the company’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) which decreased by 14.55 per cent from N19.31 billion to N16.50 billion in 2014, the MD said “this was because of significant increase in the cost of some dairy raw materials, which was not fully passed on to consumers; increased operational expenses, and the write-off of Export Expansion Grant already taken into profit in the previous year.”
However the dairy products giant, which has more than 27 products in its kitty, had an increase in turnover by 5.14 per cent from N120.26 billion in 2013 to N126.44 billion in 2014; while the Board of Directors recommended a final dividend of N4.33 per ordinary share of N0.50 each to the shareholders, having paid an interim dividend of N3.91 per N0.50 in November 2014.
The shareholders approved the final dividend during the Annual General Meeting, bringing the total dividend paid out to N8.24 per N0.50 share in the year under review.
On what to expect from FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria on the occasion of Peak Milk’s 60 anniversary, Colaco said the company is working with key partners and on a new campaign which includes a special launch of the Peak ‘Easy to Open’ product, and a massive media event on Saturday at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.