Lafarge WAPCO Plans Bag Manufacturing Firm
- Monday, 28 May 2012
Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc is poised to establish a bag manufacturing firm in Nigeria to facilitate the packaging of its products and boosts its earnings.
Chairman of Lafarge Cement WAPCO, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, who disclosed this at the 53rd Annual General Meeting in Lagos (AGM) held recently in Lagos, explained the company was being established in partnership with bag manufacturing experts who have been packaging Lafarge Plc’s products worldwide.
According to him, arrangements are in the final stage for the company to commence operations, noting that it would take care of the company’s packaging needs. He said the new company would replace Nigerian Kraft Bags Limited, which was held 56.2 per cent by Lafarge Cement WAPCO and 41.7 per cent by Odua Investment Limited.
Osunkeye said the operations of NKB have become moribund while the company was in the process of being liquidated. He explained that getting a functional bag manufacturing firm would save cost and boosts its bottom line on the long run.
The chairman added that the expected measures by the Federal Government towards boosting the housing sector in the country would also bring about an increase in the demand for its products; thus boosting the company’s profitability.
He said that activities in the building sector industry would improve in the next few years following plans by governments to satisfy the housing needs of Nigerians, noting that this would increase cement consumption.
“Also, we believe that Nigeria’s road network would also present a significant opportunity for the cement sector, and the completion of our Lakatabu plant has positioned us favourably to benefit from this potential,” he said.
Reviewing the financial performance of the company for the year ended December 31, 2011, Osunkeye said that turnover rose by 42 per cent to N62.2 billion, while profit after tax also increased by 75 per cent from N4.88 billion to N8.5 billion.
The board of the directors recommended a dividend of N2.25 billion, which was approved by the shareholders at the AGM. The dividend translates into 75 kobo per share.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Joe Hudson, commended the shareholders for their support over the years, saying better days are here for them.
“We are grateful to our shareholders, who stood by us all through the years, especially when we were involved in the setting up of our Lakatabu Plant. Now that the plant has taken off, we are going to see even increased activities in our company, and this would be translated to our shareholders.
“Over the years, we have maintained a progressive dividend policy, and we want to assure our shareholders that we would not relent on this; we will ensure that we steer the company in the direction of value generation to all our stakeholders,” Hudson said.
Source: This Day.
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