NIGERIA – Shareholders of Unilever Nigeria Plc should expect higher dividend at the end of the current financial year going by its improved financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2017.

Following a jump in profit to N1.19 billion (US$3.78 million) in 2016, from N69 million (US$220,000) in 2015, the shareholders got N378 million (US$1.2 million) in dividends for the 2016 financial year.

However, the prospects for higher dividend have brightened as the company’s profit after tax (PAT) for 2017 H1 soared to N2billion, from N52 million.

According to the results, Unilever recorded revenue of N22.933 billion in 2017, up from N15.495 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Cost of sales was up at N15.318 billion in 2017, from N11.175 billion in 2016.

Marketing and administrative expenses reduced from N3.335 billion to N2.979 billion, making the company to end the period with an operating profit of N3.639 billion compared with N253 million in 2016.

Profit before tax soared by 4,174 per cent from N67 million to N2.864 billion, while PAT followed same pattern, jumping from N52 million to N2 billion in 2017.

When the company increased its PAT by 157 per cent for the full year of 2016, its Chairman, Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha said that the company had, once again, demonstrated business resilience under very difficult circumstances.

He asserted that the company’s performance showed its commitment to grant shareholders returns on their investments

“The company’s performance for the year ended 31 December 2016, showed sustained growth and resilience even under depressed economic conditions.

Although Unilever Nigeria has not been insulated from the tough economic environment, we have remained focused on our short and long term growth ambitions with strong emphasis on operational intensity, cost efficiencies, growing market share across key categories as well as reinvesting behind our iconic brands,” he said.

He said despite the challenging operating environment, Unilever Nigeria is dogged about ensuring sustained and steady growth in its operations to achieve improved returns on investments.

“We are more resolute than ever to continue to forge ahead despite the business operating environment. As a company, we will continue to appreciate the resilience and unwavering commitment of all our stakeholders; shareholders, dynamic employees, loyal consumers, dedicated suppliers and other business partners for their unflinching support through these challenging times.

We look forward to a better 2017 for our brands and our great company which you are all an important part of,” he said.

July 17, 2017: This Day