……Our strategy to restructure the balance sheet base and optimize the financing costs has started to yield the desired results.
The Nigeria’s largest integrated food business and agro-allied group, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, on Monday announced that it’s 2018/19 audited financial results showed a N1.9 billion improvement in Q4, 2018/19.
The Company’s full year result also showed a 30 per cent reduction of its financing cost and a strengthened balance sheet, enabling the Group to increase its dividend by 20 per cent.
Flour Mills total net debt reduced by N21.2 billion and financing costs by 30 per cent (N9.8 billion) to N22.9 billion as at 31st March 2019.
Due to stellar performance, the Company is herby proposed a dividend increase of N0.20k to N1.20k per share which is subject to shareholders’ approval at the forthcoming of Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Commenting on the result, the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), Group Managing Director, Paul Gbededo, said: “We have made substantial progress this year, even in the face of an adverse and challenging business environment.
“Our growth and efficiency initiatives across our various functions and businesses have started to show anticipated gains as we continue to focus on organic sales growth and position the business for continuous profitability.”
Gbededo explained that FMN has undergone several functional and structural changes last year, with innovation and focus on its consumers.
“We are positive that we will see even greater achievements in our financials in the following quarters as we continue to focus on value creation for our shareholders.
“To that end, we will be proposing the declaration of a dividend to our shareholders with a significant increase over last year,” he said.
Also, the Group Chief Finance Officer of the Company, Anders Kristiansson, said: “Our strategy to restructure the balance sheet base and optimize the financing costs has started to yield the desired results.
“The business showed increasing levels of efficiency. Despite ongoing pressures on consumer disposable income in many of our target categories, we delivered a stronger Q 4 than last year.”
In spite of the prevailing economic headwinds and harsh operating environment, which is further heightened by the logistics challenges in Apapa, FMN has continued to make remarkable progress.
For instance, the group’s strategic directive to focus on market expansion while realigning its food and agro-allied businesses ensured its sustainable growth and profitability.
In 2018, the company undertook a series of strategic actions designed to improve returns and deliver maximum gains for its investors.
Top of such actions was the restructuring process that saw all FMN Group businesses in the agriculture sector aligned under Golden Fertilizer Company, a fully owned Holding company.
On its outlook for 2019, the firm said continuous growth was envisaged in key segments such as food and agro-allied, as targeted strategies deliver improved margins and operational efficiencies.
It added that continuous implementation of turnaround initiatives in the agro-allied business, accelerated expansion in the B2C segment, optimal operation of its supply chain and further balance sheet management were expected to result in higher profitability.