GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Plc held its 46th Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Wednesday with shareholders approving a total of N359 million or 30 kobo dividend per share, amidst a profit before tax decline of 83 percent.
Mr. Edmund Onuzo, Chairman, Board of Directors, attributed the company’s decline in profit to a number of factors including the challenging operating environment, such as a period of recession in the year under review.
According to him, the divestment of the company’s drinks business in Q3 was also a factor which led to decline in profit.
“This divestment has however enabled the Company to align with the global strategy and focus on its core businesses with the aim of driving improved margins and sustainable growth.” he said.
Explaining further, Onuzo said despite the immediate outcome of the divestment, which is a leaner and nimble company, the focus on healthcare would enhance GSKs brand portfolio.
For the 2016 financial year, the company recorded a turnover of N14.4 billion. Profit before Tax dropped 83 percent to N185.9 million from N1.1 billion in the previous year, but Profit After Tax increased by 172 percent to N2.4 billion from N873.1 million declared in the same period of 2015.
The Chairman emphasized that GSK would continue to support its brand through increased marketing and promotions. He also disclosed that the company would drive increased local manufacturing and local content contribution to increase margins and mitigate foreign exchange fluctuations.
“In 2017, GSK would focus on growing major brands like Sensodyne, Panadol, Andrews Liver Salt and Macleans to drive baseline profitability. These are part of our sustainability measures, we are now more focused on our core strength and going forward, we hope to aggressively build our consumer healthcare portfolio” he said.
The Chairman concluded that the company is strongly committed to attaining and sustaining high performance and would continue to invest in human capital and sustainable corporate responsibility initiatives while ensuring that the company fulfills its mission to improve the quality of human lives by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
He also assured shareholders that despite the economic challenges of 2016, the company remained committed to ensuring that its shareholders received good returns on their investment.