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Finance: Here is why Unilever Nigeria is selling its Blue Band brand

Finance: Here is why Unilever Nigeria is selling its Blue Band brand



Here is why Unilever Nigeria is selling its Blue Band brand

Nnaemeka Achebe, Unilever chairman said the Spreads Business has been under-performing globally, adding that the transaction would enable the company to focus more on other well-performing categories.

Unilever Nigeria Plc has agreed to sell its spreads business, the worst-performing unit, to Sigma Bidco as proposed by the Board of Directors, to focus and consolidate on its faster-growing food and personal-care niches.

Unilever, Nigeria’s biggest players in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) did not disclose the stake in the deal and worth of the Spreads business it is planning to sell to Sigman Bidco B.V., an investment company with a focus on consumer products and packaged foods based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The shareholders of Unilever Nigeria Plc, at its 93rd Annual General Meeting, AGM, held in Lagos on Thursday, May 10, 2018, approved the sale of the unit and also ratified the payment of N2.87 billion dividends, translating to 50 kobo per share for the year ended December 31, 2017.

The company posted an increase in profit after tax of 143% to N7.45 billion in 2017 financial year, from the N3.07 billion recorded in 2016, while its operating cost dropped by six basis points (6bps) same period.

Also READ: Diamond Bank is selling off its UK subsidiary to focus on retail banking in Nigeria

Why Unilever is selling Blue Band

His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha and Unilever chairman, while addressing shareholders said the Spreads sector is slowing down as consumers are turning away from margarine for healthier alternatives.

He stated that the decision to divest from the spread business is largely due to the desire by the company to boost shareholders’ return.

Achebe explained that Spreads Business has been under-performing globally, adding that the transaction would enable the company to focus more on other well-performing categories.

He reiterated the drive by the management for implementation of electronic dividend and electronic bonus payment in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, to eradicate the incidence of unclaimed dividend and total dematerialisation of share certificates.

Laying the financial report before the shareholders, he said that the strategic initiatives and tactical plans the board and management implemented during the year yielded positive results.

Unilever Nigeria financial book – Q1 2018 report

  • Revenue surged by 16% to N25.817 billion in Q1 2018 from N22.17 billion recorded in Q1 2017

  • Food Products segment post N12.17 billion in revenue

  • Home care & Personal Products Care recorded N13.64 billion

Unilever makes and sells products under more than 400 brand names worldwide. In Nigeria, the company has three segments namely, the Food and Drink segment, Home and Personal Care segments.

Under the food and drink segment are the Blue band margarine brand, Knorr and Royco, according to Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa check.

Click here to read the full text by Aderemi Ojekunle

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