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Nestle assures shareholders of rebound to profitability, robust returns

Nestle Nigeria reports N104 billion loss in 2023, shareholders funds wiped  out - NairametricsNestle Nigeria Plc has assured its shareholders that the management and board would work assiduously to return the company to profitability.
Giving the assurance at the company’s 55th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, the Board Chairman, Mr Gbenga Oyebode, said that Nestle had remained a profitable and strong company in its 63 years of operation in Nigeria despite the macroeconomic dynamics.
Speaking on the backdrop of the difficult operating business environment in Nigeria in 2023, especially the foreign exchange crisis that saw many companies post losses, he assured that the company would sustain investment in its operation in order to create shared value for all its stakeholders.
He said: “”We have come through a year that was challenging yet dynamic for the business, recording increased growth amidst uncertainty.
“In 2023, we found opportunities for expansion and innovation to increase impact at scale. We ensured the availability and accessibility for the nutritious food and beverages families across Nigeria choose daily through responsible local sourcing and production.
“We also supported our stakeholders, collaborating on initiatives and programs to help build thriving, resilient communities and implemented measures to protect and replenish the planet for future generations.”
Speaking on the financial results, the Chairman noted that despite the difficult conditions during the year, Nestlé revenue increased by N100 billion to N547.1 billion, a 22.4 percent growth over 2022.
“Our gross profit increased by 39.4 percent to N217.1 billion, while operating profit increased by 41.5 percent to N122.7 billion.
“Our profit  after tax of N79.5 billion was negatively impacted by the revaluation of our foreign currency obligations due to the devaluation of the Naira,”  he said.
He noted that the resultant negative equity position is being reviewed by the board, while adding that the board members are proactively monitoring the developments in monetary policy.
Looking ahead, Oyebode remained optimistic saying, “As we progress through 2024, we maintain a sense of hope for a turnaround in our business environment.
“Our strategic focus continues to be on fostering innovation to deliver affordable nutrition to our loyal consumers, achieving operational excellence and nurturing strong relationships with our valued customers and stakeholders.”
He  noted that the company would sustain its investments in operations, enhance the capacity of its teams and implement initiatives that address social and environmental problems, promote nutition and support local communities to create shared value.
Shareholders expressed their optimism, hoping that the board would declare dividend in 2024 financial year end.
They also commended the company for the resilient efforts of the board and management towards driving the company back to profitability.
Speaking on behalf of shareholders, the patron, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Timothy Adesiyan, commended the 2023 financial result, while applauding the management for the increase in revenue and operative activities.
The Chairman Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, however, urged the company to reduce exposure to foreign exchange, noting that backward integration should be enhanced.
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