News Column

Berger Paints Posts N2.7 Billion Turnover, N251 Million Profit

July 18, 2014

Bukky Olajide

BERGER Paints Plc recorded an increase of 30.9 per cent in profit after tax for the year ended December 31, 2013 to N251million, from N192 million in 2012.

The company also posted profit before tax of N356 million in 2013, showing an increase of 25 per cent compared with N284 million in 2012.

The profit was made from a turnover of N2.7 billion in 2013, compared with a turnover N2.5billion recorded in 2012.

Managing Director of the company, Tor Nygard, said the result is indicative of continuing improvements in the company's operations, characterised by huge investments in product innovation.

"In spite of the local infrastructure challenges affecting real sector performance, especially power, we are delighted by the significant year-on-year growth of 7.75 per cent and 30.9 per cent achieved in our revenues and profitability respectively," he said.

Meanwhile, the company's chairman, Clement Olowokande, has retired from the board of directors of the company after 45 years stint with the company.

Olowokande, a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) of United Kingdom and also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), joined the company as a young accountant in 1969 and rose through the ranks to become Managing Director in 1991 and Chairman of the board in 2001.

The Chairman, along three other directors, having attained the age of 70 after the last AGM, retired from the board of the company at the 55th yearly general meeting held in Lagos on Thursday.

The other directors are Dr. Raymond Obieri, former President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Olawale Akinpelu, former Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Balram Datwani.

According to Olowokande, "for me, in particular, it has been a spectacular and exciting journey full of ups and downs. In that journey that spanned over forty-five years, I had been privileged to interact with the best minds in the industry, both within and outside the industry.

"I had also enjoined the trust, confidence and support of successive generations of directors, staff and shareholders. I remain eternally grateful to God for his amazing grace over my life and to all stakeholders who have contributed one way or the other to the remarkably successful journey which my career at Berger Paints has turned out to be."

Addressing shareholders at the meeting, the out-going chairman said Berger Paints Nigeria Plc would soon become the first paint manufacturing company to automate its production facility in West Africa.

He said the automated plant, which would be complemented by a network of colour world centres to be located in major Nigerian cities, would not only revolutionize production and distribution processes, it would have major positive on costs, product quality, turn -around time and profitability.

In a bid to prepare the company for the future, which the automation represents, the board of directors of the company has also embarked on a major upgrade and re-engineering of the company's organisation and human resource management infrastructure.

The chairman said: "Efforts are on-going to boost the company's managerial capacity and make the company more nimble and adaptable to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the economy. Of particular importance to us is the implementation of the local content policy in the oil and gas sector and the prospect it holds for us, given the strategic alliances and partnership we have formed with some of the largest manufacturers of paints in the world."

Olowokande also said that the board is embarking on a total overhaul of sales, marketing and distribution systems and infrastructure to regain leadership position in the paint sector in the near future.

As part of measures to reposition the company, the board has appointed Wole Abegunde to the board of the company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin. He brings on board several years of varied experience acquired from the manufacturing, banking and finance sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Abegunde who is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria and authorized dealer of the Nigerian stock Exchange is presently the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Meristem Securities Limited.

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Source: AllAfrica

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