Mr. Paul Gbededo

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s most capitalised and largest flour-milling company has introduced three new products into the Nigerian market. The products are Daily Delight instant cereal, Golden Penny margarine and Golden Penny vegetable oil.

The products were unveiled during the Golden Penny Customer Forum for 2015. The Group Managing Director, FMN Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, said that the occasion was unique because it was the first time Golden Penny business partners of both B2B and B2C were rewarded the same day as one team with one dream.

This new direction, according to Gbededo, promises to increase harmony between FMN Plc and its customers.  He referred to the customers as partners because without them FMN would not be complete.

He promised that the company will continue to maintain leadership through production of quality, healthy and affordable products to meet the demand of Nigeria’s growing population.

The company’s Chairman, Mr. John Coumantaros, appreciated the distributors for their unwavering loyalty and commitment for the past 54 years of the existence of the brand.

Vono records modest growth

Vono Products Plc, a leading name in the manufacturing and distribution of institutional and household furniture in Nigeria, achieved operating revenue of N889.7million in 2014, which is a modest growth of more than five per cent over the previous year.

Addressing the company’s shareholders during its Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently, the Chairman of Vono, Mr Mohammed Yinusa, expressed joy that despite the challenges in the operating environment, the company’s operating profit improved significantly by 52 percent recording N26.4 million when compared to N17.4 million in 2013. “The growth in turnover particularly reflected the marketing efforts and the growing customer’s satisfaction with our products. The business continues to gain momentum, recording another modest improvement on profit before tax of N2.5 million in 2014 when compared with N1.5 million in 2013,” he said. According to him, this development portends that there seems to be rays of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Acting Managing Director, Vono Plc, Mr. Olatunji Anjorin, has appealed to the Federal Government to look into the poor state of infrastructure in the country, noting that it is impacting negatively on productivity of manufacturing industry. Anjorin said the operating environment was tough, adding that the challenge facing Vono was in the area of infrastructure. He appealed to the government to create an enabling environment where manufacturers could operate at optimal level. He also emphasised the need for quality products, saying that government’s policy should discourage inferior products in the real sector.

Anjorin said the company was being repositioned as a furniture company that would not only make mattresses but would also engage in wood and soft furnishing. According to him, the company will soon roll out many innovative products that appeal to different segments of the society including the youth. “We are sensitive and innovative. We are taking advantage of the social media space to ensure full inclusion of the young ones in our new approach to product development. We are looking at our payment system to make our products affordable to different segments of the society,” Anjorin said.

 GSK Nigeria devises winning strategy

For GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, the year 2014 was quite challenging for business. Addressing shareholders of the company during its Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Edmund Onuzo said that the devaluation of the Naira following the crash in oil prices impacted negatively on the business.

Consequently, in the year under review, turnover was N30.52 billion, a 5 percent increase over the previous year, profit before tax and profit after tax were N2.75 billion and N1.85 billion respectively, representing 36 percent and 37 percent decline over the previous year respectively. He identified the major factors responsible for the significant decline in profitability to include the devaluation of the Naira and increase in the cost of goods sold from the new trading arrangement with Lucozade Ribena Suntory, the new owners of the two brands. “The Board has directed Management to take steps to mitigate the future impact of these risks on our business and we hope to see gradual re-alignment on profitability of the business,” Mr Onuzo said.

He also noted that the incidence of counterfeits and parallel imports continue to be a big challenge to the business and the company’s ability to ensure it delivers products of value, especially the pharmaceuticals, to the consuming public. According to him, GSK Nigeria has continued to work with regulatory agencies, including NAFDAC and the Nigeria Customs Service to stem the menace of counterfeits, fake and parallel imports.

In order to confront and overcome the risks to growth and profitability in the next 12 months, the company has devised its winning strategy. This includes a strategic re-designing of its Route to Market (RTM) with focus on building momentum behind drinks, and strengthening the non-drinks portfolio. “We would continue to strengthen our customer marketing intelligence and to build alliances with our distributors pan Nigeria to ensure reach and penetration,” he said.


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