Nigerian Breweries Plc has declared a dividend of N34 billion for the year ended December 31, 2013, translating into N4.50 per share. The brewing firm ended the year with a turnover of N268.6 billion and operating profit before tax of N62 billion. Profit after tax rose 13.2 per cent from N38 billion to N43 billion, while earnings per share stood at N5.70, up from N5.03 in 2012.
The directors therefore recommended a dividend of N4.50 per share, showing in increase of 50 per cent above N3 paid the previous year.
A further analysis of the results showed that the profit growth was impacted by lower financing costs. Besides, the company maintained its leadership position in the market in spite of the challenging operating environment in 2013.
Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Nigeria Breweries, Mr. Uaboi Agbebaku, said: â€œthe operating environment is expected to remain challenging in 2014 but the company is confident that it will continue to maintain its market leadership as well as take advantage of any growth opportunities that occur.â€
Agbebaku said if the dividend recommended is approved, it shall be paid on May 15, 2014 to all shareholders recorded in the companyâ€™s register of members at the close of business on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Meanwhile, international analysts from BPI Capital Africa, have described the results as impressive, especially given the pressured consumer environment in Nigeria.
The analysts, who are from the South Africa based investment advisory services firm, said the 13 per cent EPS growth recorded by the company â€œwas far ahead of expectations while the 50 per cent increase in dividend is a big surprise.”
According to the analysts, the results highlighted an exceptional management team and superior brand portfolio.
â€œKey standout from the results was the very strong cash flow generation. Net cash from operations after working capital changes grew 44 per cent and represented 46 per cent of revenue, and despite significant capital expenditure (12 per cent of revenue) free cash flow was up 3 times and represented 26 per cent of revenue,â€ they said.