Business

Firm explains role of infrastructure, others on investments

The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Nnamdi Okafor, has disclosed that the company’s quest to invest heavily on key infrastructure, research and innovation has buoyed its total shareholders’ equity to achieve 100 per cent, from N2.9 billion (2010) to N6 billion (2020) in the last 10 years.

Okafor, who disclosed this during a media luncheon with some selected journalists in Lagos recently, pointed out that the company’s move to invest in key infrastructure, research and innovation, was instrumental and critical to surpassing the monumental proportion headwinds facing the company in the last 10 years. Okafor, who is stepping down as the GMD/CEO of May & Baker Nigeria Plc next year, after spending 35 years in active service and 10 years as GMD/ CEO of M&B Nigeria Plc, also said that the company’s profit before tax in 2011 was a third of a billion naira, saying that as at today, it has tripled and making May & Baker Nigeria to become the billion-nairaprofit club in Nigeria.

In addition, its balance sheet size has also doubled from N7 billion (2010) to N14 billion (2020) as well as revenue. Okafor said: “The nation has gone through two recessions, one global epidemic (Ebola), one global pandemic (COVID-19) and several economic lockdowns. But I thank God that in spite of these headwinds of monumental proportions our company is stronger today than it was 10 years ago. “As at February 2011 when we took over, profit before tax was a third of a billion naira.

This has today tripled and May & Baker Nigeria is now in the billion-naira-profit club. Our balance sheet size has doubled (from N7 billion to N14 billion) and as well as our revenue. Also, our total shareholders’ equity has grown by 100 per cent from N2.9 billion in 2010 to N6 billion by 2020. We achieved all these by investing in key infrastructure, research and innovation.” Okafor added: “Over this period the cash-flow of the company which was a critical issue when we assumed office has been turned around.

Net cash-flow which was consistently negative in the first five years due to high debts from banks was turned around in the second half of the decade having paid-off the banks and all short-term debt, injecting fresh equity capital through rights issue and accessing longer- term, low-cost debts from the Bank of Industry and the Central Bank of Nigeria intervention facilities.

This has put the company on a solid liquidity position with adequate funds for future growth and expansion projects.” Speaking further, the M&B Nigeria CEO stressed that “we have strengthened the foundation for future growth with investments in new projects, including a billion naira dedicated plant for one of our major products, Paracetamol and two new state-of-the-art plants for Hand sanitizer and Herbal products currently under construction.” On the WHO Pre-qualification programme, Okafor emphasised that “WHO GMP Certification/Pre- qualification was our first major challenge as a new management. Having completed a world class pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, we were challenge to convert this facility to a proper centre of excellence by obtaining international certification for its processes.”

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