Nestle Nigeria aims for increased market share

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Nestle Nigeria Plc said it plans to introduce brand loyalty programmes as a way to grow its market share in the country.

The company’s Managing Director, Mauricio Alarcon, disclosed this during the firm’s Annual General Meeting held in Lagos recently.

Alarcon said that Nestle had continued to focus on creating demand as well as strengthening its brand loyalty so as to increase market penetration.

“The company also continued to focus on creating shared value for the society and its shareholders by delivering high quality nutritious products to consumers whilst contributing to the growth of the local economy through local sourcing and increasing access to clean drinking water in the communities where it operates.

“We are pleased with the sustained growth of our company, the loyalty of our consumers, the discipline and dedication of our people to provide tastier and healthier products.”

Speaking on 2019 outlook for the company, Alarcon said, “We are optimistic that our current business model would continue delivering satisfactory results to our shareholders and to the society in line with our creating shared value principle.

“Providing high quality and affordable nutritious products which meet the needs and preferences of our consumers would remain our priority as we help build thriving, resilient communities through sustainable local sourcing and continuous product innovation.”

Also speaking on the firm’s activities over the last year, Nestle Nigeria Chairman of the Board of Directors, David Ifezulike, said that, “2018 was a year of significant results in the face of unpredictable changes in the business environment. The influx of competing products presented both a challenge and an opportunity for innovation to continue to delight our customers.

“Despite the hardship of the economy the world has faced, we are as a company has been able to scale through and arrive at a profit which every one of our shareholders would benefit from.

“With competition intensifying and the digital revolution disrupting how consumers engage and interact with companies, we continued to focus on meeting consumer needs while increasing speed and efficiency to adapt to the changes in our environment.”

“Compared to other companies our dividend is much based on the profit we have made. As a business we realise the wellbeing and progress of our customers is very important, thus we do everything legally possible to satisfy them because without our customers we are nothing.

Shareholders of Nestle Nigeria who were present at the AGM applauded the company’s performance in 2018 and the N38.50 paid as dividend. They urged the company to consider paying bonus shares at the end of 2019 as part of commemoration of the company’s 50th Anniversary in Nigeria.

They also called on the company to assist the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in its effort to reduce the level of unclaimed dividend by putting measures in place to drive down their own figure.

“Unclaimed dividend at N5.8 billion is quite high. The figure must crash; the Board must do something to bring down this figure even if it means going to look for the shareholders,” said Nona Awoh, an independent shareholder at the 50th AGM meeting.

“Also, special bonus should be given to us, the shareholders, to mark the 50th anniversary of your operation in Nigeria.”

Awoh also thanked the company for reducing its net finance cost as well as posting improvement in other performance indicators. He charged them to draft policies that would ensure that it extracts export value equal to the import value.

Also speaking, Boniface Okezie, National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) advised the company to decentralize its operation to further bring down the cost of sales and distribution expenses.

Nestle Nigeria posted a 28% profit rise in 2018 to N43bn, helped by a 9% sales lift to N266bn. First Quarter 2019 results was even stronger with a 49% profit growth to N12.8bn, driven by a reduction in finance cost. Sales grew by 5.19% to N71bn.

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