GHANA – Unilever Ghana has announced that its revenue for the year ended 31 December, 2017 grew 16% to US$122.69 million from US$105.83 million in 2016 driven by increased volumes of sales and a stable economy.

Operating profit before tax was US$13.93 million, representing 22% increase over 2016’s US$11.41 million while profit-after-tax improved by 23.3% to US$10.26 million compared to US$8.33m in 2016.

The company said it was leveraging its operations given a stable economy and conducive business environment in the country to achieve sustainable growth while earning good returns to shareholders, reported GNA.

The Board Chairman of Unilever Ghana Limited, Mr Edward Effah said the company was taking full advantage of the government’s fiscal consolidation policies rated favorable for business growth.

After the difficult economic challenges in 2016, Effah said the policies were vital in stabilizing the economy resulting in attracting investment into the economy.

Due to an increase in cost of raw materials, operating costs increased 15% during the period.

“The government’s fiscal consolidation policies were largely on target leading to stabilization of the economy after the difficult economic challenges in 2016.

This resulted in attracting investment into the economy accounting for the growth experienced during the year.

Unilever will continue to take advantage of the stable economy and conducive business environment and work to build on our sustainable business, creating wealth and good returns to shareholders,” said Effah to shareholders at its annual general meeting.

This was an improved performance compared with 2016 when revenue declined 4.3% from US$110.68m to US$105.95m reflected by complex and challenging economic environment in the country.

Unilever has since then embarked on cost-saving initiatives, continued improved culture across the organisation and at the end of 2017, the company said it was able to add 4,000 new outlets and revamped its distribution network.

Effah said Unilever Ghana would leverage the good economic fundamentals to further grow the business, widen its distribution network and introduce more products.

The company said it made investments of more than US$ 4.48 million in multiple areas including Laundry bar factory upgrade to cope with the increased sales; plant condensers and efficient dryers; commissioning of Blue Band packaging line and the new powders packing line for Omo and Sunlight.

The company announced a dividend pay-out of $0.053 per share from the 2017 profits, amounting to a total of US$3.33m.

Unilever Ghana, maker of Lux soap and Lipton tea is taking advantage of oil-fuelled boom reported to have lifted Ghana’s economic expansion to 8.5% and according to the International Monetary Fund, this is forecast to grow 6.3% in 2018.