NASCON Allied Industries Plc has ended the 2020 financial year on a positive note, with a reason for cheer and greater optimism among the company shareholders, based on the expected revenue increase from its new state-of-art Salt Refinery.
Rising from its 2020 Annual General Meeting held at the Civic Centre in Lagos weekend, the company announced an improved turnover of N28.01 billion, representing a two per cent increase from the previous year (N2019: N27.49 billion), despite the economic headwinds generated by the COVID-19 pandemic globally and nationwide.
In its 2020 Annual Report themed ‘Protecting Our Core,’ the company, for the financial year ended 31st December 2020 also recorded N2.69bn in Profit After Tax (PAT), a 46 per cent increase for the year, compared to N1.85bn in 2019. Earnings per share also increased to N1.02 in 2020 compared to N0.70 in 2019.
The Board of NASCON Allied Industries, at the meeting convened by the Chairperson, Mrs. ‘Yemisi Ayeni, also recommended a dividend payment of N0.40 per 50 kobo share, totalling N1.06bn, which was put to vote and passed by the shareholders and proxies.
The Chairperson, in her statement, noted, “During 2020, many manufacturing businesses faced numerous challenges associated with COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn. While I strongly believe that these are short to medium term, we have taken decisive measures to ensure stakeholder expectations are continually satisfied. We are confident that our business model will enable us to successfully navigate global changes while seizing opportunities to continually create value for our stakeholders.”
“2020 was a challenging year for our business and the world in general. Yet it was also a year that provided our business the opportunity to review service delivery processes, reposition the salt business based on our additional capacity, and focus on our distribution models. It is the long-standing trust and loyalty of our shareholders that has allowed us to implement our long-term vision and benefit from the resilience it brings,” Ayeni added.
According to the Managing Director, Mr. Paul Farrer’s review in the annual report, “The major challenge in the Nigerian business environment in 2020 was the outbreak of the COIVD-19 pandemic resulting in major job losses and reduced income, across the country and a looming global recession which experts say may be one of the worst global recessions in recent history.
“Despite the diverse challenges faced during these trying times, we continue to demonstrate our resilience and optimism into 2021. We are focused on maximising the gains from our capacity expansion, human capital development, operational efficiency and aggressive trade in all market segments.
“In terms of market expansion, we have heavily invested in our new salt refinery. This is a state-of-the-art refinery plant, using best practices to produce high quality products for our discerning customers. The future for NASCON looks very bright. We have installed our new salt refinery and as a result, established a strong platform for future growth.
“I want to specifically thank our trade partners, consumers, suppliers, team members and strategic stakeholders for contributing to our success story in 2020. We look forward to continuing these mutually beneficial relationships in the future,” he added.
Also, the Executive Director, Commercial, NASCON Allied Industries, Fatima Aliko-Dangote, noted, “The COVID-19 restrictions affected our route-to-market, but we are constantly engaging customers to improve our productivity. Although the bulk of our volume is consumed in the north, our investment in the new salt refinery will increase our productivity and our coverage of the other regions.”
One of the shareholders at the meeting, Sir Sunny Nwosu, acknowledged that the dividend for the year 2020 was more than that of last year. He also appreciated the corporate governance structure and the commitment of the management to the affairs of the company. He hailed the issue of reduced borrowing as a good sign, and called for a wider geographical spread of the revenue base, to the East and West of the country.
At the AGM event, motions for the acceptance of the Annual Report and for the acceptance of the dividend of N0.40 per 50kobo share were moved, seconded and passed by the shareholders and proxies. Also, three Directors, Olakunle Alake, Chris Ogbechie and Sada Ladan-Baki were re-elected into the Board by the shareholders.