NIGERIA – FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, maker and distributor of dairy products has said that sales for the full year 2017 grew 13.2% to US$387.8 million from US$342.78 million in the previous year.

According to the company, the financial results for the period were marred with economic challenges including foreign exchange constraints, high inflation rate and low consumer purchasing power.

Despite of a difficult operating environment, the company said it showed resilience and determination to meet its targets and thrive, reported BeverageIndustryNews.

Its net profit declined by 13.5% to US$33.24 million from US$38.22 million in the year 2016 attributed to a fire incident at their Evaporated milk factory in 2017, which the company said reduced production and required it to import high volume of Evaporated milk to cushion the gap from the resulting fire incident.

The company indicated that it imported US$267.85 million worth of raw materials while US$44.87 million worth, which is 16.7% raw materials, was procured locally even as economic challenges rocked the market.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO offers its products throughout Nigeria including milk, milk powder, and evaporated milk and is known for brands such as Peak milk and Three Crowns milk.

Results were boosted by increased investments aimed at improving operational efficiency and these were namely procurement of two new sterilizers, a conveyor, two high speed sachet filling machines with improved technology and a dust extractor system to optimize safety in the Powder Plant.

To increase opportunities in local dairy farming, the company invested in its Dairy Development Programme, a collaborative initiative it signed in March 2017 to strengthen the Dairy Transformation Agenda of the Nigerian Government.

Other investments include an additional milk collection centre and Farmer2Farmer programme to help improve milk quality, volume and dairy farming skills through one-on-one coaching by Dutch co-operative member-farmers from Royal FrieslandCampina, The Netherlands.

The company maintained a prospective year ahead highlighting that the challenges including foreign exchange constraints, high inflation rate and low consumer purchasing power were expected to continue in 2018.

“We expect consumers to maintain their current spending behaviour of top-up neighbourhood shopping, particularly for milk. Availability and affordability will remain major determining factors in purchase decision making,” said the Managing Director, Mr. Ben Langat.

“FrieslandCampina WAMCO will continue to work within best global practices, leverage opportunities to invest and continue to satisfy our consumers as we maintain our leadership position in the dairy sector,” he added.