NIGERIA – Nestle Nigeria Plc has reported US$197.12 million (N71.0bn) in revenue for the first quarter of 2019, representing 5.2% growth compared to corresponding period in the previous year.

The company’s gross profit for the three months to end March climbed 22% to US$87.46 million (N31.5bn), from to US$71.63 million (N25.8bn) posted in previous year while net profit rose to US$35.54 million (N12.8bn).

During the period, the company said it had continued its emphasis on creating demand as well as strengthening brand loyalty programs to increase market penetration.

The performance continues to support the company’s sustainable growth agenda in its operations after recording 9.1% growth in revenue during its previous financial year where revenue hit US$739.35 million (N266.3bn).

The company’s gross profit for the year ended December 2018 rose to US$316.23 million (N113.9bn), from US$280.14 million (N100.9bn) during the previous year

Following the results, the Nestlé Nigeria’s board recommended a final dividend payout of N38.50 (US$0.11) per share for 2018 amounting US$84.74 million (N30.52bn), which was approved by shareholders.

Speaking during the company’s 50th annual general meeting in Lagos David Ifezulike, the company’s Chairman, highlighted that amidst the influx of competitive brands in the market Nestle’s brands remained leaders in their categories.

“Our marketing initiatives focuses on creating nutrition awareness for our consumers who continue to trust us to deliver high quality nutritious products.”

According to him, the company invested in the expansion of its routes market, working with a motivated and dedicated distribution network.

Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer said: “We are pleased with our 2018 results considering the increasingly competitive business environment.

“The growth was driven by the continued loyalty of our consumers as we focused on consistently delivering high quality, tasty and nutritious food products adapted to their preferences.

“The discipline and dedication of our people also supported this business outcome. The company continued to invest in innovation to keep delighting consumers with its iconic brands,” he said.

The multi-cereal Nestle Golden Morn Puff fortified with iron was introduced during the year.

Looking forward to the rest of 2019, he said “We are optimistic that the current business model of Nestle Nigeria Plc will keep delivering satisfactory results to our shareholders and to society in line with our Creating Shared Value principle.

“Providing high-quality and affordable nutritious products which meet the needs and preferences of our consumers will remain our priority as we  help build thriving, resilient communities through sustainable local sourcing and continuous product innovation.”