NIGERIA – Nestle Nigeria Plc, a food and beverage speciality company posted an 11% increase in net profit for the nine months to the end of September, helped by a 4% sales growth.

The food and beverage giant’s revenue climbed to N211.3bn (US$583.9m) from N203bn of the previous year.

Sales in the third quarter grew marginally by 2% resulting in a quarterly net profit decline of 9%.

The company benefitted from a sharp drop in net finance cost, which fell to N496m (US$1.3m) from N1.3bn (US$3.5m), a 61% decline.

The beverage segment which accounted for 38% of the company’s total sales grew by 7.4% to N79.5bn (US$219.7m) with pre-tax profit of N19.7bn (US$54.4m), a 46% increase. Its beverage products include Milo, Chocomilo, Nido, Nescafe and Nestle Pure Life.

The food segment saw a tepid rise in revenue to N131.8bn (US364.2m), a 2.12% gain and a 4% rise in pre-tax profit to N37.4bn (US$103.3m). Its food products include Maggi, Cerelac, Nutrend, Nan, Lactogen and Golden Morn.

The Board of Directors of Nestle Nigeria Plc had announced that the company would observe the close period of trading from October 14, 2019, to October 31, 2019, in respect of the company’s unaudited financial statements ended September 30, 2019.

This was disclosed in a notification that was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) where the company also stated that its board would meet on October 29, 2019, to approve the results for Q3 2019 while discussing other issues pertaining to the company.

A close period is a period before the release of a company’s result or financial statement when those with sensitive information are not allowed to trade on the stock.

These individuals may include company directors, audit committee members, persons discharging managerial responsibility, employees and consultants with sensitive information.

Nestle Nigeria has seen the modest growth following the launch of a couple of products this year. Beginning of the year, the company introduced a new look of its ‘Nestlé Pure Life’ premium bottled drinking water under the mantra ‘championing pure water for healthier generations’ in its quest of providing more healthier products.

This was followed by the introduction of a new powder seasoning product ‘Maggi Signature’ into the Nigerian market in May, available in three flavour variants; Jollof, Miya and Pottages.