At a time when most companies are recording losses because of the current economic downturn, Guinness Nigeria Plc has posted a 14.2 per cent profit after tax in its financial year, which ended June 2009.
In the Annual Report and Account presented to shareholders, the company’s turnover grew by 29 per cent from N69.172 billion to N89.148 billion, while its profit after tax increased from N11.860 billion to N13.541 billlion.
In recognition of the performance and return on investment for its shareholders, Guinness’ Board of Directors, during the 59th Annual General Meeting in Lagos, on Tuesday, recommended the payment of a dividend of N11.062 billion; representing N7.50 per share.
Babatunde Savage, the company’s Chairman, said, “I am pleased to report that Guinness Nigeria produced an impressive financial result for shareholders even in this year of considerable turmoil in the global and Nigerian economies and increased competitive activities.” He said Guinness achieved success because it sharpened its focus on excellent execution of its strategic plans and motivated its employees to deliver.
Mr. Savage, who took over from Ralph Alabi three months ago, said the year 2008 was one of the most challenging periods in the economic and financial evolution of the Nigerian market, and that the economic challenges of 2009 are daunting but not insurmountable.“The initial, but widely held view, that the Nigerian economy was insulated from the global downturn is now being questioned,” Mr. Savage said.
“The banking system, which has hitherto benefited from the effects of recapitalisation and consolidation, has shown some signs of weakness – recently contained by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s injection of Tier-2 capital.”
However, he believes that the credit growth will be restored to the system so that most companies will be in a position to share in the much anticipated recovery of the economy. “The Board is determined to ensure that it is appropriately prepared to offer direction and leadership to the business at a time of great challenge and competitive economy.”
Sunny Nwosu, the National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, praised Guinness’ board of directors, saying, “Guinness gave us (shareholders) cause to smile in time of financial crisis.”