By NBF News

SHAREHOLDERS of Fidson Healthcare Plc have unanimously commended the performance of the company for the financial year ended June 30 2010, even as they asked for representation on the Board of Directors

The spoke's person of the shareholders' associations, Sir Sunny Nwosu, at the company's 12 th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Wednesday said, ' we shareholders commend the promoter of this company who has given us opportunity  to invest, we are ready to partner with him and ensure that the company continue to grow from strength to strength provided the ordinary shareholders are carried along. We commend the performance but we advise that future dividend be paid as at when due'.

'Furthermore, there is need for the Board to consider the inclusion of ordinary shareholders on the board as demanded by good corporate governance. The representation of the shareholders on the Board will help strengthen the company as there will be checks and balances. The corporate governance stated that the Non Executive Directors should be more than the Executive Directors. This is to ensure adequate check and balances in the affairs of a company'.

Nwosu, further advised the Board to consider a member of the shareholders to be the head of audit committee as demanded by good corporate governance.

According to him, ' you cannot  be a judge in your own case. The shareholders are experienced and knowledgeable on issues that affect the Board and the company in general. We have to consolidate the financial statements. We commend the Board and management for the results being approved and the expectations that have been given to us. We hope that this expectations would be met'.

Another shareholder, Mr. Nonah Awoh commended the Board and management for the performace and advised them to be more proactive in the coming years.

The Chairman, Mr. Felix Ohiwerei thanked the shareholders for the support so far given to the company.

Commenting on the performance, he said, ' the company recorded a turnover of N5.1 billion during the year under review, representing a marginal increase of 2 per cent over the previous year's turnover of N5.0 billion. Profit before tax increased by 3 per cent from N623 million in 2008/2009 to N642 million in the 2009/2010 financial year.

Profit after tax was N465.8 million, representing an increase of 8.5 per cent. Earnings per share also increased from 29 kobo in the previous financial year to 31 kobo during the year under review. Dividend recommended was 10 kobo per 50 kobo ordinary share, representing 54 per cent decline when compared to the dividend of 22 kobo paid last year. This is in line with the dividend policy now in place to conserve funds for expansion of our operating facilities'.

Ohiwerei  stated that the industry in which the company operated continued to be challenging in terms of market competition and logistics

According to him, ' there has been tremendous growth in the industry with new companies introducing products that are close substitutes to ours. This was in addition to the menace of counterfeiting that has assumed an epidemic state in recent times.' He commended the effort of the regulatory body, National Agency for Drugs Administration and Control(NAFDAC) for apprehending and destroying some of the sub standard products that have been seized.