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Unilever boosts profit by 236% in H1 2017
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By Desola Akindele
July 15, 2017 16:12:09pm GMT      |      Views: 703
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WorldStage Newsonline-- Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company, Unilever Nigeria Plc, has announced a 236 percent growth in its profit after tax for the first half of 2017.

Unilever’s unaudited result for the half year ended June 30, 2017 submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed that the profit after tax of the company stood at N3.7 billion compared to N1.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016.

Profit before tax likewise soared by N3.556bn or 239 percent to N5.044 billion, as against the N1.487 billion reported in the corresponding period of last year.

The company’s earnings per share consequently improved to 97 kobo; as against 29 kobo in the first half of 2016.

The result showed that revenue from sales stood at N45.1 billion, a 40 per cent increase from N32.3 billion in H1 2016.

An analysis of the income statement revealed that the major increase in revenue came from the company’s food product segment raked in N20.7 billion accounting for 46 per cent of the total revenue.

This was followed by personal care with N12 billion, while the home care segment yielded N12.3 billion, both accounting for 27 percent each of the total revenue.

Cost of sales rose by 45.53 per cent from N21.924 billion in the corresponding period of 2016, to N31.197 billion, leaving gross profit at N13.907 billion, compared to N10.353 billion in previous year.

Selling and distribution expenses rose to N1.942 billion from N1.502 billion, while marketing and administrative expenses fell to N5.571 billion as against N6.689 billion in 2016, bringing gross profit for the period to N6.394 billion, which was significantly higher than the N2.161 billion recorded earlier.

Finance income was N374.977 million, slightly better than the N220.856 million recorded in 2016; while finance costs more than doubled to N1.725 billion from N894.891 million.

Meanwhile, following shareholder approval received in May, Unilever Nigeria Plc has now received clearance of the issue documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in respect of the Rights Issue. The transaction is part of the Company’s strategy to drive sustained and steady growth despite economic headwinds.

The company plans to raise N58,851,275,010 by way of rights to existing shareholders, on the basis of 14 new shares for every 27 shares held by shareholders, whose names appeared in the register of members of the Company as at 28 June 2017 at an issue price of N30 per share.

At the signing ceremony which held at Unilever Nigeria’s head office in Lagos, Yaw Nsarkoh, the Managing Director of Unilever Nigeria, said through the Rights Issue, the company would be able to reinforce its financial flexibility to support growth initiative and also give shareholders an opportunity to consolidate their shareholding position.

"The proceeds of the Rights Issue will be used to repay our outstanding foreign currency denominated liabilities, purchase additional raw materials required for our products and to meet other working capital requirements in other to build long term value for all stakeholders,” he said.

Chairman, Unilever Nigeria, Nnaemeka Achebe said that the Rights Issue reiterated the company's confidence in Unilever Nigeria’s robust future and commitment to building a more enduring business in the Nigerian market.

"We acknowledge with deep appreciation the unwavering support we have received from our stakeholders and shareholders even in trying times which has enabled us to deliver a positive result. We implore you to participate in the Rights Issues as you will be re-confirming your support for the Company,” he said.

Speaking at the end of the ceremony, Funso Akere, the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, commended the management of Unilever Nigeria for the commitment they have shown towards executing the Rights Issue and for giving Stanbic IBTC Capital a free hand to guide the process. Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited is acting for Unilever Nigeria Plc as Issuing House for the Rights Issue.

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