Shareholders of the Fidson Healthcare Plc have approved the N75 million dividend proposed by the directors for the year ended December 31, 2015. The dividend, which translates to five kobo per share, was approved at the 17th annual general meeting of the company held in Lagos on Wednesday.
Addressing the shareholders, Chairman of Fidson Healthcare, Mr. Felix Ohiwerei, explained that dividend was reduced compared to the previous year in order to conserve more capital to run the business as the economic situation especially shortage of foreign exchange, which is affecting smooth running of business in Nigeria.
He said the company’s turnover for 2015 declined by 15.52 per cent to N8.210 billion from N9.719 billion recorded in 2014, while gross profit stood at N4.351 billion compared with N5.433 billion made in 2014, showing a decline of 19.9 per cent.
However, there was an increase of 5.69 per cent in the net assets to N16.67 billion, from N15.772 billion in 2014.
He, however, promised the shareholders of continuous profitability saying: “The company’s production capacity has tremendously increased and we are optimistic that we would be able to meet the growing need for quality pharmaceutical products in the country. However, ugly constraining factors in 2016 such as declining value of the Naira, high inflation and increasing cost of production needs to be taken into consideration.”
Speaking on the challenging operating environment, Ohiwerei added that one of the biggest challenges is the high exchange rate has put pressure on the procurement of raw materials and the importation of finished goods.
He added that the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET) in Nigeria has equally placed a higher tariff on the importation of raw and packaging materials than on finished good, thus putting local production at the advantage against importation.
He, however, noted that despite the challenges, Fidson Healthcare Plc has remained one of the leading companies in the industry which he attributed to the strict and prudent management of operating cost.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE ASI) appreciated by 0.44 per cent to close at 27,598.34 points as the bulls returned to the market after two days of a bearish trading.