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Nestle shareholders laud N21.79bn dividend for 2017

By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

 Nestle Nigeria Plc shareholders on Tuesday approved a final dividend of N21.79 billion recommended by the company for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dividend translated to N27.50 per share against N10 paid in the corresponding period of 2016.

Mr Boniface Okezie, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), commended the company for the dividend and performance posted during the review period.

Okezie said that the dividend was the highest dividend given to the shareholders since 2008.

He said that the company should consider establishing water factory in Aba, Abia State to boost revenue and to make the product more available in the South East.

Another shareholder, Mr Nona Awoh, said that the company needed to increase its share capital through issuance of bonus.

Awoh said that issuance of bonus was necessary to increase minority shareholders stake in the company, noting that the last time shareholders were compensated with bonus was in 2011.

On unclaimed dividends, he said that the company must design a strategy to reach out to the affected shareholders instead of just urging them to register for e- dividend payment initiative.

“Go after people who have unclaimed dividends to go for their monies, that would make for good will and good marketing strategy,’’ Awoh said.

Chief Timothy Adesiyan, the Grand Patron, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, lauded the company for adhering to the principles of good corporate governance.

“One thing that is driving the growth of Nestlé is good corporate governance which they have been practicing over the years.

“Corporate governance strategy of Nestlé is such that if it is followed by other companies, Nigeria will be better for investment,’’ Adesiyan said.

He appealed that Nestlé should distribute the high yield seedlings of soya beans to all local governments as part of poverty alleviation program.

Mr David Ifezulike, the company’s Chairman, assured shareholders of enhanced dividend in the years ahead.

Ifezulike said that the company would make an impact in its operating environment by creating shared value to all stakeholders.

He said that the company would remain committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.

According to the chairman, the increase in company’s sales in 2017 is evidence that consumers have continued to trust its brands.

He said that the company would continue to protect the trust by responding to consumers’ needs and preferences.

NAN reports that the company posted revenue of N244.15 billion as against N181.91 billion achieved in the previous year, representing an increase of 34 per cent.

Profit for the year rose by 326 per cent to N33.72 billion as against N7.92 billion in 2016.

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