Shareholders of Unilever Nigeria Plc have approved the plan by the consumer goods company to raise N63 billion in new equity funds from the existing shareholders.
Unilever Nigeria, where Unilever Overseas holds 60 per cent equity stake, will launch a rights issue to deleverage its balance sheet and increase working capital for the business.
At the annual general meeting in Lagos on Thursday, shareholders also approved payment of N378.3 million as cash dividend, representing 10 Kobo per share for the 2016 business year.
Shareholders also approved the increase in the company’s authorised share capital to N5 billion by the creation of additional 3.9 billion new ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each as part of preparation to create headroom for the new shares issue.
Chairman, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, said that Unilever Nigeria has once again demonstrated business resilience under very difficult circumstances.
He said that the company’s performance shows its commitment to grant shareholders returns on their investments.
According to him, the company’s performance for 2016 shows sustained growth and resilience even under depressed economic conditions.
“Although Unilever Nigeria has not been insulated from the tough economic environment, we have remained focused on our short and long term growth ambitions with strong emphasis on operational intensity, cost efficiencies, growing market share across key categories as well as reinvesting behind our iconic brands,” Achebe said.
The audited report of the company for the year ended 2016 showed that revenue increased by 17.8 per cent from N59 billion recorded in 2015 to N69 billion as profit after tax for the year, 2016 increased significantly by 157 per cent to N3.07 billion from N1.19 billion in 2015.
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