PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc last Friday reported a growth of 37 per cent in profit after tax for the first quarter ended August 31, 2013. The unaudited results, showed a growth of 5.4 per cent in turnover from N15.1 billion to N14.4 billion. However, profit after tax rose by 37 per cent from N672 million to N921 million in 2013.
Market operators said this performance was commendable considering the challenging environment.
Shareholders of the company had last month approved N2.22 billion in dividends that translated to 65 kobo per share for the year ended May 30, 2013.
And the chairman of company, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien, assured shareholders of a bright future last month.
Speaking at the 65th annual general meeting (AGM) in Abuja, Edozien said the company would deliver on its targets.
Edozien said the company’s strategic direction of investing in volume growth and improving cost structure had paid off in better profitability, giving the company the confidence that it would sustain on the right footing for profitable growth in the future.
“In line with the strategic plans and direction in the forthcoming financial year, we are optimistic that we will deliver the targets. The company has continued to invest in strengthening the supply chain and improving operational efficiency, to optimize the cost base and improve the consumer experience,” Edozien said.
According to him, the detergent and soap manufacturing processes have been further improved to drive efficiencies and meet the increasing demand adding that these initiatives and other such investments aimed at optimising the supply chain and overall overheads will ensure a flexible and competitive cost structure for the company going forward.
According to him, inadequate infrastructure translates into high conversion costs which means that the local manufacturing facilities are not cost competitive with goods manufactured in other countries.
Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Mr. Christos Giannopoulos, said the company was able to record appreciable success as a result of increase in product range.
He restated the use of local contents in the line of production, adding however, that the company relied on imports where certain raw materials were not available locally.
PZ Cussons recently launched palm oil refinery, constructed as part of the joint venture with Wilmar, a development that has continued to increase production levels on a monthly basis.
As a direct result of the refinery, a new consumer brand, Mamador edible oil – was introduced into the local market during the quarter.
Year-to-date, PZ Cussons Nigeria shares have outperformed the broad market index, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI). The shares have gained 41.1 per cent compared with 33 per cent for the ASI.