By Goddy Egene
The Chairman of Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr. Segun Adebanji, has said that several cost optimisation initiatives adopted by the company led to the N407 million profit recorded for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Fidson grew its profit for the year by 518 per cent from a loss of N97.45 million in 2018 to N407.19 million in 2019, despite a decrease from N16.23 billion in 2018 to N14.06 billion in 2019.
Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos, Adebanji said the company adopted cost optimisation strategies that led the improved performance in 2019.
According to him, gross margin improved from 39 per cent in 2018 to 42 per cent in 2019, administrative and sales expenses reduced by 13 per cent while finance cost dropped by over 10 per cent.
Adebanji noted that proceeds from the company’s right issue in July 2019 were used to repay expensive loans, finance capital expenditure and working capital needs.
Based on the profit recorded in 2019, the board proposed a dividend of 15 kobo per share, which was approved by the shareholders at the AGM. The shareholders commended the company for ensuring that investors continue to get good value on their investments.
The chairman said the Fidson continued to leverage its World Health Organisation (WHO)-compliant factory, introducing 10 new products in 2019, and went into an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Plc to contract manufacture for them from 2021 onwards. This will ultimately drive an increase in output and efficiency, and bring variable costs of production down.
Looking into the future, Adebanji said the board is committed to implementing strategic initiatives like international collaboration and research & development to drive sustainable growth as well as cement its leadership position in the industry.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has provided opportunities to explore the development of new products and with the increasing support of the government for the healthcare sector, the company anticipates that it would successfully mitigate some of the shocks caused by the pandemic and emerge successful in the months ahead,” he said.
Meanwhile, the stock market closed on a positive note yesterday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by 0.31 per cent to be at 24,841.94, while mqrket capitalisation added N39.6 billion to be at N13 trillion.
Activity level was mixed as volume traded declined 17.2 per cent to 154.4 million units while value traded advanced 11.3 per cent to N1.5 billion.