NIGERIA – Nigerian Breweries Plc has announced an interim dividend of N7.997 billion (US$22m) for the nine months ended September 30, 2017.

The dividend, which translates to N1.00 per share, was recommended following improved performance recorded by the leading brewing firm for the nine months.

Nigerian Breweries posted revenue of N254.7 billion (US$708m) in 2017, up from N222.7 billion (US$620m) in the corresponding period of 2016.

Cost of sale rose from N125 billion to N148 billion, while gross profit stood at N106.6 billion as against N97.4 billion in 2016.

Marketing and distribution expenses rose from N43.35 billion to N49.4 billion, while administrative grew from N16.48 billion to N17 billion in line with rising inflationary trend.

However, net finance charges (NFC) fell from N10.2 billion in 2016 to N7.9 billion in 2017.

As a result, Nigerian Breweries ended the period with profit before tax (PBT) of N34.42 billion (US$96m), showing an increase of 24 per cent above the N27.79 billion (US$77.8) in 2016, just as profit after tax rose from N20.1 billion in 2016 to N24 billion in 2017.

Commenting on the results, the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Uaboi Agbebaku said: “Despite the continued challenging business environment, revenue in the first nine months of the year grew compared to the corresponding period in 2016.”

According to him, following   the company’s continued focus on internal efficiencies under its Cost Leadership programme, results from operating activities improved, which combined with lower NFC resulted in increased profitability in the period.

Agbebaku explained that the interim dividend is payable subject to deduction of withholding tax at the appropriate rates, on Thursday, 23rd November, 2017 to all shareholders registered in the books of the company at the close of business on Wednesday, 15th November, 2017.

The company   maintained that whilst the operating environment for the remainder of the year is expected to remain challenging, it is confident that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the company is well placed to deliver a good return on investment to shareholders.

Shareholders of Nigerian Breweries Plc had last May commended  the board and management of the company  when the company  paid a total dividend of N28.8 billion for the  2016 financial  year.

The shareholders, who spoke at the 71st annual general meeting (AGM) of the company held in Lagos, noted that the company’s performance in spite of the challenging operating environment, showed the resilience of the company.

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