Shareholders of Nigerian Breweries Plc have lauded its 2016 financial performance and approved the dividend proposed by the Board. The shareholders who spoke at the 71st Annual General Meeting of the company held in Lagos noted that the company’s performance in spite of the very challenging operating environment, stood out as a shining example for other manufacturers to emulate.
However this commendation is coming just as the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Nicholaas Vervelde was tendering his resignation letter as the CEO of the company.
The shareholders stated that the 2016 results and the dividend pay-out are strong signals of the resilience of the company in the face of the apparent challenges of the economy.
Mr. Sola Abodunrin and Chief Shotunde Shopeju, both shareholders, expressed confidence that the company remains in good stead to weather the present storm and deliver good returns to shareholders in the future. “I congratulate the company for remaining strong even in the storm. The shareholders are happy that the company is always coming up with new initiatives to bring good harvest and returns,” Shopeju said.
The proposal for shareholders to receive their dividend either as cash or additional shares was also approved by the shareholders. The shareholders equally approved an increase in the authorized share capital of the Company from N4 billion to N5 billion by the creation of additional 2 billion ordinary share of 50kobo each.
In his remarks at the meeting, the chairman of the company, Chief Kola Jamodu, CFR informed the shareholders that the company has declared a total dividend of N28, 386, 181, 179. This amounts to N3.58 per share and 100 per cent earnings pay out. Shareholders have the option to choose between a cash payment or the conversion of their dividend to ordinary shares with the approval of the scrip issue.
He maintained that the operating environment in 2016 was very challenging especially from an input cost, FOREX and purchasing power perspectives. “Our volume growth was in the mid-single digit region, coupled with the price increases that we implemented positively impacted our revenue growth,” he said.
The resignation of the managing director is to enable him take up a new role as Managing Director of Heineken Asia Pacific Region.
As a Cluster MD across the Asia Pacific region, Mr. Vervelde will take responsibility for Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, East Timor and HEINEKEN Asia Pacific Export.
According to a notice posted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange by the company, at the weekend, Mr. Vervelde resigned to take up a new role within the Heineken group outside Nigeria.
“In anticipation of that and preparation to take up a new appointment, Mr. Vervelde submitted a letter of resignation, from the Board and the company, to the Board of Directors at the Board Meeting held on Thursday, May 3rd , 2017,” said Uaboi Agbebaku, the legal adviser to Nigerian Breweries largely owned by the Dutch beer maker, Heineken.
Ververlde joined the company in August 2010 as Managing Director, and until his resignation on Wednesday last week, served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
According to Agbebaku, the company recorded several milestones under the leadership of Mr. Ververlde, leading to the acquisition of additional breweries.
“The Board has immediately commenced the process of identifying a replacement for Mr. Vervelde and will make an announcement in that regard in due course,” Mr. Agbebaku said.
He will resume in his new role on August 1, 2017.