BERGER Paints Nigeria Plc remains optimistic that it will sustain its growth trajectory in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and other operating challenges as the paints-manufacturing company grew net profit by 40 per cent in 2019.
At the annual general meeting (AGM) of the company, which was held by virtual attendance through proxy, yesterday in Lagos, the board and management of Berger Paints assured shareholders that ongoing strategic initiatives would drive further growths in sales and profitability.
Chairman, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc, Mr Abi Ayida said the improved performance of the company was driven by a re-refocusing on production of primary products, corporate foresight and innovativeness and huge investment in automated factory among others.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Berger Paints for the year ended December 31, 2019 showed that turnover rose from N3.3 billion in 2018 to N3.5 billion in 2019. As internal efficiency improved, operating profit increased by 196 per cent between 2017 and the end of 2019 while it recorded an upward movement in all its key performance indicators in the review period. Gross profit grew by 12 per cent from N1.48 billion to N1. 664 billion while net profit grew by 40 per cent from N320 million to N448.7 million
Ayida said the moderate growth in revenue was intended as deferred scale achievement to maintain focus on operational efficiency noting that while the operating environment was challenging last year, the company was able to record upward movement across all its financial indices.
He expressed gratitude to the shareholders and assured them of greater performance, irrespective of the state of operating environment.
'The lockdown has brought significant level of uncertainties to the global business environment. We have analyzed COVID-19 and determined to brace up. Our first approach is preservation of capital. This informed our decision to declare a modest dividend of 25 kobo per share for the review period. Our position is that it is better to err on the side of prudence. Our huge investment in automated factory is part of our growth strategy. Our efforts shall continue to pay off, the company's future is bright,' Ayida said.
He said the company will soon activate its subsidiary in Ghana, although the conditions imposed on foreign companies by Ghanaian government at the moment are not encouraging.
Shareholders commended the company's financial performance and its heavy investment in automated factory as an index of growth strategy. But they urged the board and management to increase the dividend of 25 kobo per share next year and also map out strategy to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 which has become inevitable.
A shareholder, Comerade Lawrence Oguntoye, described the company's performance as excellent against the backdrop of tough operating environment last year. He attributed the stellar performance to the company's resilient, visionary and focused leadership.
Another shareholder, Mr Egunde Moses who also commended the company's performance urged the board and management to put strategies in place for optimal performance despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan