The board of Nestle Nigeria Plc is considering payment of an interim dividend on the third quarter results of the food and beverages multinational.
Directors of Nestle Nigeria are scheduled to meet later this month to consider the unaudited report and accounts for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.
Company Secretary, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Bode Ayeku yesterday confirmed that the board of directors would also discuss payment of interim dividend during the October 29, 2018 meeting.
Nestle Nigeria had paid interim dividend of N11.89 billion, representing a dividend per share of N15 during the 2017 business year. The food giant had increased its total dividend payout by 325 per cent to N33.7 billion for the 2017 business year.
Nestle Nigeria paid final dividend of N21.8 billion, representing a final dividend per share of N27.50 for the 2017 business year. This brought total dividend per share for 2017 to N42.50. It had paid N7.93 billion for the 2016 business year.
Nestle Nigeria led the gainers yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as investors weighed possible distribution for the nine-month period. Nestle Nigeria's share price rose by N15.30 to close at N1,420.30 yesterday.
Many analysts expected Nestle Nigeria to sustain its dividend payment trajectory, with profit growth translating into higher returns to shareholders. First-half results showed that the food giant sustained strong growths across key performance indicators.
Key extracts of the six-month report for the period ended June 30, 2018 showed that Nestle Nigeria grew sales to N135.3 billion in first half 2018 as against N121.92 billion recorded in first half 2017. Gross profit increased from N48.34 billion to N55.58 billion.
While marketing and distribution expenses increased, administrative expenses decreased and the company further optimized its bottom-line with 87.5 per cent decline in net finance costs from N2.24 billion in 2017 to N280.67 million in 2018. With these, profit before tax rose from N24.46 billion in first half 2017 to N31.87 billion in first half 2018. Profit after tax also increased from N16.55 billion in first half 2017 to N21.46 billion in first half 2018.
Ayeku had said the company's performance was made possible by the relentless efforts of its highly passionate team to provide high quality and affordable nutritious food and beverages to Nigerian consumers.
'We will maintain the focus on delighting consumers with our nutritionally superior products by increasing promotion initiatives and providing more nutrition education,' Ayeku said.
Ayeku added that in line with the company's creating shared value principle, it remains committed to building thriving and resilient communities through local sourcing, expanding the commercialization of its products and strengthening its value chain.
'We are pleased with the sustained growth of our company amid the tough competitive business landscape,' Ayeku said.
© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan