Shareholders of   Fidson Healthcare   Approve 15 kobo  Dividend, Hail Firm’s Resilience

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MARKET NEWS:

Judith Obaze  

Shareholders of Fidson Healthcare Plc have approved the dividend of 15 kobo per share recommended by the board for the year ended December 31, 2018, at an annual general meeting (AGM) of the company held in Lagos recently.

The shareholders commended the board and management’s efforts in steering the affairs of the firm despite the challenging operating environment. They said the efforts being made to stand the competition and deliver improved returns were highly encouraging.

The company recorded an increased turnover of 15 per cent, from N14.06 billion in 2017, to N16.23 billion in 2018. However, due to increased cost of sales from 49 per cent margin in 2017 to 61 per cent and increased finance cost (up by 92 per cent), Fidson Healthcare Plc’s profit fell to N161 million.

But the company said it had taken steps to improve its finance structure and had  concluded a rights issue of N3 billion last June. The capital raise was towards refinancing expensive debt and working capital funding in a bid to improve its margins.

Addressing the shareholders, the Chairman of  Fidson Healthcare, Mr. Segun Adebanji,  said  company continued to leverage its World Health Organisation (WHO)-certifiable factory, having recently executed a partnership with Glaxosmithkline Consumer(GSK) Plc  that would see  Fidson  manufacture for  GSK’s  West African operations going forward. 

This, he  added,  alongside market penetration strategy and cost optimisation are a few of many initiatives to sustain growth and return value to shareholders that the company is currently pursuing.

 Adebanji noted that  Fidson continued to strengthen its operating facilities with expansion and retooling.

 ‘’Old machines and equipment have been disused and replaced with modern ones. We are currently expanding our capacity utilization through increased production and contract manufacturing for other notable companies in the industry,’’ he said.

He also said the company was poised to reposition the business through business realignment and useful industry collaboration in order to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the market, stressing that “We are currently expanding our capacity utilization through increased production and contract manufacturing for other notable companies in the industry.” 

Adebanji said the company’s capital structure received attention in the form of lowering the gearing level and we believe this would impact positively on the company’s profitability. 

According to high, generally, high interest rates, epileptic power supply and the unabating security challenges around the country remained major threats to the manufacturing sector and economic development in the country.