By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr Oba Otudeko, has disclosed that the deplorable state of roads around the Tin Can and Apapa ports was already seriously weighing on businesses operating in the vicinity.
Speaking at the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the firm held recently at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Mr Otudeko said most companies operating in the area are counting their losses as a result of the traffic gridlock around the ports, which is affecting manpower, production and profit.
However, he said despite this and other challenges, Honeywell Flour Mills was able to come out strong in the 2018 financial year, which ended on March 31, 2018.
He said during the period under review, the flour miller declared a gross profit of N16.1 billion, about 26 percent higher than the N12.7 billion posted in the previous year.
Also in their period under consideration, the company’s revenue grew by 34 percent to N71.5 billion from N53.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
Mr Otudeko attributed the company’s performance to the focus placed on its main priority which was consistent delivery of profitable top line growth through high capacity utilization rates.
He assured shareholders that in the new financial year, the company will remain committed to its vision to build market strong, highly desired and recognizable consumer brands that are well distributed across Nigeria.
He urged federal government to quickly address the challenges associated with roads in and around Tin Can and Apapa ports, encouraging government to allow active participation of the private sector in the development and operation of ports in strategic regions of the country.
“The existing ports in Lagos are overcrowded; there is the need for government to address these challenges to improve trade movement. Private sector participants should also be allowed to build ports to support government’s efforts,” Mr Otudeko said.
On his part, Managing Director of Honeywell Flour Mills, Mr Lanre Jaiyeola, disclosed that the company, during the year, implemented strategic projects to limit production losses, conserve energy, and to reduce downtime from equipment failure.
In addition, he said the firm successfully contended with macroeconomic challenges, including higher energy and transportation costs, through meticulous execution of its Continuous Improvement Strategy.
At the AGM, shareholders of Honeywell Flour Mills approved a dividend payment of 60 kobo for every 50 kobo ordinary share, amounting to a total of N475.8 million for the 2018 financial year.
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