Land Border Closure: Cadbury Begins Sea Shipment of Products to Nigeria

Cadbury Nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

The decision of the Nigerian government not to reopen its land borders anytime soon has forced the management of Cadbury Nigeria Plc to change its shipment strategy.

In August 2019, local authorities announced the closure of the country’s land borders without any prior notice. This action took a huge toll on companies who use the means to bring raw materials and products into the country.

While the land borders were sealed, the air and sea were not affected. But many organisations prefer to use the land border for importation because it is cheaper.

One of the firms affected by the closure was Cadbury Nigeria, a company trading its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Addressing shareholders at the company’s 55th Annual General Meeting (AGM) a few days ago, Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr Atedo Peterside, said in order to meet demands of consumers in the country for its products, the company had to begin to import its goods from Ghana through the waters.

“We started sea shipment of 3 in 1 Hot Chocolate cocoa beverage from Ghana to Nigeria, when it became apparent that government was not going to reopen the land borders soon,” Mr Peterside said.

He expressed delight at the performance of the company’s brands in the market, stating that it showed the firm was doing well as satisfying needs of the consumers.

However, he stressed that things have not been rosy for Cadbury Nigeria especially because of harsh operating environment caused by the land border closure, dwindling consumer purchasing power, and inability to resolve the intractable congestion at the Apapa ports.

But he noted in the midst of these issues, in the 2019 accounting year, “Our sales and marketing team were active and aggressive in ensuring that all our brands were available to consumers across the country.

“Our iconic Bournvita beverage, Clorets chewing gum as well as TomTom, the classic functional candy, all contributed towards our growth in 2019,” Mr Peterside said.

During the gathering, shareholders of the company commended the board and management for weathering the storm and declaring a dividend of N912 million for the 2019 business year, translating to 49 kobo per share.

Last year, the firm grew its revenue to N39.3 billion from N36.0 billion in 2018, while the profit after tax rose to N1.1 billion from N823 million in 2018.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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