Cadbury Nigeria Plans to Increase Market Share, May Consider Rights Issue for Fresh Capital
By Dipo Olowookere
Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr Atedo Peterside, has expressed the company’s determination to increase its market share, which will in turn boost revenue of the firm and more dividends for shareholders.
Mr Peterside, while responding to concerns raised by shareholders at the 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Cadbury Nigeria held last Friday at the Civic Centre in Lagos, said to achieve this goal, the company will introduce new products and improve on its existing brands.
At the yearly meeting, shareholders had advised the management to introduce new products, especially those that will address health concerns in the country like diabetes and others in order to increase the firm’s market share and bottom line.
Responding to this, Mr Peterside said the point raised by the shareholders was a valid one, promising that the board and management would look into it.
The Chairman said it was important for the company to increase its market share and reposition itself as a leader in the industry.
However, he said the company was working on some new products, which would be launched at the appropriate time, adding that Cadbury Nigeria would drive growth ahead of competition to increase market share within its product categories.
According to him, the major priorities of the company in 2018 are to sustain focus on quality, drive improvements in productivity and reinforce operational efficiency to maximise its competitive advantage.
Mr Peterside said Cadbury Nigeria built its business on four key pillars, such as price competitiveness, aggressive route to market initiatives and sustained consumer-driven activations.
The Chairman informed shareholders at the AGM that last year, the company recorded a revenue of N33.08 billion compared with N29.98 billion in 2016, while the profit before tax stood at N350.32 million from a loss before tax of N562.87 million recorded in the previous year, and the profit after tax at N299.99 million against a loss of N296.40 million in 2016.
He said the company, in 2017, benefited from cost savings initiatives, which saw selling and distribution costs as well as administrative costs decline by seven percent and 23 percent respectively.
Giving an insight on how the company generated its revenue last year, Mr Peterside said 55 percent came from refreshment beverages which includes Bournvita and Cadbury 3-in-1 hot chocolate, while 31 percent was from confectioneries such as Tom-Tom peppermint and its variants, and 14 percent from Intermediate Cocoa products comprising cocoa powder, cocoa cake and cocoa butter.
At the meeting, shareholders approved the N301.51 million proposed by the board as total dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, representing 16 kobo per share.
They commended the board for returning Cadbury Nigeria Plc to profitability after suffering losses as a result of the recession in Nigeria in 2016, urging the board and management to do more in 2018.
The shareholders further advised the board to consider cheaper means of financing its activities to reduce costs of operation, saying floating rights issue in the future to raise fresh capital should be looked into instead of obtaining loans from banks.