NIGERIA – Shareholders of Nestle Plc have approved the firms’ N17.50kobo dividend for the 2014 financial year, even as they stressed the need for the company to reduce the number of shareholders in the unclaimed dividend list.
Directors of Nestle had recommended an interim dividend of N10 per share, which had already been paid before the final dividend of N17.50, bringing the total dividend for the year to N27.50 per share.
Speaking at the company’s 46th yearly general meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, a shareholder, Nona Awo who commended the company on its improved performance during the year under review, however expressed dismay at the number of shareholders in the company’s unclaimed dividend list.
“Most dividend did not get to the shareholders. The time the warrant arrive may not be conducive for shareholders. We would continue to loose money while the registrars will continue to make money.”
The President, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, Timothy Adesiyan commended the company for improved performance, while urging them to control its financial cost to enable the company to consolidate on the performance and declare better dividend in the next financial year.
The chairman of the company, David Ifezulike said the company’s turnover rose by eight per cent from N133.08 billion in 2013 to N143.3 billion in 2014. Profit after tax was almost unchanged at N22.24 billion in 2014 as against N22.26 billion in 2013.
“In view of the good performance achieved in 2014, the board proposed a dividend of N17.50, while an interim dividend of N10 was earlier declared and paid, making a total dividend of N27.50 per share for the year 2014, an increase of 8 per cent from 2013.”
According to Ifezulike, our company has delivered on its short-term commitment while continuing to strengthen the foundations of future growth.
Looking forward, Ifezulike said, “the company is well positioned to respond to the challenges and to grasp many opportunities presented to the company.
“While delivering in the short term, we will remain focused on our business, long term, and continue to build the foundations for future growth. We will take appropriate steps to accelerate our growth as we have done in previous years.”
He added that the construction work on the ultra-modern Nestle waters factory located in Abaji near Abuja has reached advanced stage and will be officially inaugurated in the last quarter of 2015.
“The new N4.6 billion factory which occupies 14.13 hectares will further enhance our competitive edge as the leading healthy hydration company in Nigeria, he said.”