The revenue of N3.5 billion and profit after tax (PAT) of N448.7 million posted by Berger Paints Nigeria Plc for the year ended December 31, 2019, were commended by shareholders of the company at the annual general meeting (AGM) held yesterday in Lagos.
The revenue showed a growth of six per cent up from N3.585 billion recorded in 2018, while the PAT rose by 40 per cent from N320 million in 2018. The shareholders, who hailed the company’s financial performance and its heavy investment in automated factory as an index of growth strategy, however, called for an increase in the dividend of 25 kobo per share next year. They also urged the company to map out strategy to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 which has become inevitable.
For instance, Lawrence Oguntoye, described the company’s performance as excellent against the backdrop of tough operating environment last year. He attributed the performance to the company’s resilient, visionary and focused leadership.
“ All financial indices are positive. This is a reflection of growth strategy borne out of resilient, visionary and focused leadership. It is commendable that while many companies are downsizing, Berger Paints is increasing its staff strength. The Board and Management has performed magic wand in business profitability and sustainability, “ Oguntoye.
Addressing the shareholders at the AGM, the Chairman, Mr. Abi Ayida, ascribed the aggregate performance to the company’s re-refocusing on production of its primary products , corporate foresight and innovativeness and huge investment in automated factory, among others.
“ Our revenue grew by six per cent from N3.377 billion to N3.585 billion but the gross profit for the year grew by 12 per cent from N1.480 billion to N1. 664 billion while the profit for the year grew by 40 per cent from N320 million to an historic N448.7 million. The moderate growth in revenue was intended as deferred scale achievement to maintain our focus on operational efficiency. We believe the numbers justify this approach. Indeed, operating profit improved by 196 per cent between 2017 and end of 2019,” Ayida said.
Ayida expressed gratitude to the shareholders and assured them of greater performance, irrespective of the state of operating environment.
He said: “ The lockdown has brought significant level of uncertainties to the global business environment. We have analysed 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.