By NBF News

By Peter Egwuatu
Shareholders of Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc will smile home with N2.40 dividend per share of 50 kobo each when the company's 65th Annual General Meeting (AGM) holds next week (Wednesday) in Lagos.

Managing Director/CEO, NB Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde disclosed this at the company's pre AGM press briefing on Tuesday, saying, ' a total of N18.150 billion divided will be recommended to shareholders for approval at the coming AGM.'

According to him, ' this translate to N2.40 per ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for the financial year ended December 31, 2010. The Board had earlier approved the payment of an interim dividend of N8.696 billion, that is N1.15 per ordinary shares of 50 kobo which was declared in May,2010. Therefore, this brings the total dividend to N3.54 as against N1.80 declared in the preceding period of 2009.'

He further revealed proposed plan by Nigerian Breweries to acquire two breweries in Nigeria in order to have wide geographical spread and take advantage of economic of scale to improve its returns to stakeholders.

In his words, 'we would be seeking the approval of shareholders at the forthcoming AGM to enter into discussions with the majority owners of two companies, Sona Systems Associates Business Management Limited (with breweries in Ogun State and Kaduna) and Life Breweries Company Limited (with a brewery in Onitsha with a view to acquiring those companies. This acquisition if successful will give us quick access to production capacity and facilities and enhance our brands in the market.'

While commenting on the performance of the company for the year under review, Vervelde stated that turnover went up by 13 per cent from N164.2 billion in 2009 to N185.9 billion in 2010. Operating profit grew by 8 per cent from N41.7 billion in 2009 to N54 billion, while Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at N30.3 billion, representing an increase of 9 per cent from the N28 billion of 2009.

Commenting on the company's products, he said, ' we added new brand to our portfolio by launcing herbal energy dink. Our various consumer bonding brand events such as Gulder Ultmate Search, Maltina Dance- All Heineken Champions Planet, Star Mega-Jam, Fayrouz Campus Activations and Legend Real Connection amongst others have recorded resounding success.

On the future outlook, he said, ' we hope and expect that 2011 and beyond will be better than 2010. The Nigeria GDP grew by 7 per cent and we expect it to grow higher in 2011 because the country has a lot of potentials. NB will do better than last year if Nigerian government is able to address critical areas like electricity and road which take a greater chunk of our cost of production.'