Goddy Egene

Shareholders PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc are to receive the 15 kobo dividend recommended by the board of directors for the year ended May 30, 2018 on Friday October 19, 2018. The payment will be after the approval by the shareholders at the annual general meeting (AGM) a day earlier.

PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc disclosed this in a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). However, the 15 kobo dividend, which amount to N595.572 million is lower than the 50 kobo or N1.985 billion paid last year.

The company had cut the dividend payout due to a decline of 44 per cent in the company’s profit after tax (PAT) for the year.

In its audited results, PZ Cussons reported a revenue of N80.553 billion, up by 3.0 per cent from N78.216 billion recorded in 2017. Cost of sale rose from N50.267 billion to N56.097 billion, bringing the gross profit to N24.455 billion compared with N27.947 billion the previous year.

Sales and distribution costs equally went up to N9.601 billion from N9.095 billion, while administrative expenses hit N6.626 billion compared with N5.637 billion in 2017. Net financing cost increased significantly by 234 per cent to N652 million, from N195 million in 2017.

Consequently, profit before tax fell 52 per cent to N2.313 billion from N4.811 billion, the decrease in PAT was lower due to 66 per cent reduction in taxation, which was N386 million in 2018 compared with N1.125 billion in 2017. As a result, PZ Cussons posted PAT of N1.927 billion in 2018, showing a decline of 44 per cent compared with N3.686 billion in 2017.

Chairman of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Chief Kola Jamodu had said the weaker revenue growth, increased operating expenses due to inflation resulted in a reduction in the group’s PAT.

According to him, there have been no structural changes in the landscape of the segments in which the company operate and the market share of its brands remain strong.

However, he said to buttress and sustain the position of the company in the market, improve efficiency and improve performance of the business into the future, a number of initiatives are being implemented.

“They include: a further streamling and optimisation of product portfolio to bring more focus on key brands and categories and restore margins; optimisation of the operating model to reduce overheads as well as improve the speed at which new products are brought to the market and a review of product costs across all categories with a focus on areas such as packaging reduction and a drive to reduce plastic consumption,” Jamodu said.