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May & Baker informs shareholders on new production line

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Shareholders of May & Baker Nigeria Plc may soon receive bumper returns on their investment, as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, ratified its 12 year agreement with the pharmaceutical firm for local vaccine production.

The Managing Director of the company, Nnamdi Okafor, who made the disclosure while addressing shareholders at the 66th yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos at the weekend, said with the FEC action, the partners will immediately take steps to reconstitute the board of Biovaccines Nigeria Limited.

Biovaccines Nigeria is the company set up for the purpose of vaccine manufacturing in the country through the May & Baker partnership with the Federal Government
Besides, the shareholders approved the firm’s six kobo dividend for every 50 kobo per share due to every of its investor for 2016 financial year.

In 2005, May & Baker entered into a joint venture with Government to take over the facilities of the Federal Vaccine Production Laboratory (FVPL) in Yaba, Lagos, for the purpose of resuming vaccine production, which had stopped due to FVPL’s inability to cope with the operational challenges.

The project was however delayed due to the non-ratification of the agreement by successive governments.Okafor told shareholders that with the recent development, the company would proceed with all the necessary steps to actualise the dream of private vaccine production in Nigeria.

He said steps are already being taken to ensure that the project kicked off as soon as the Board of Biovaccines is reconstituted, noting that at least 18 months would be required to put the necessary facilities in place and commence vaccine production.

On performance, he said the company increased its turnover in the 2016 financial year by 12 per cent, rising from N7.5 billion in 2015 to N8.5 billion in 2016.Profit before tax grew by 143 per cent from N142 million in 2015 to N346 million in 2016. However, deferred taxation and back duty taxes whittled down the profit to a net loss of N41 million.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma, said the company is already looking forward to a more efficient and impressive performance in 2017. He said some of the key steps being taken to actualise this include process re-engineering and business restructuring.

According to him, the board had mandated the management to review all business units and undertakings of the company with a view to pruning all non-performing and non-profitable ventures

He added that the company plans to acquire new competencies in new business areas, expand product portfolio, and deepen its market beyond Nigeria.Responding, the President, Progressive Shareholders Association, Boniface Okezie, said the investment in local vaccine production will certainly multiply the turnover and profitability of May & Baker.

He also commended the management of the company for remaining resolute on the local vaccine project despite the long delays in its realisation.The President, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, Timothy Adesiyan, who noted that the addition of vaccine into the company’s business would lead to astronomical growth in earnings, also commended it for being consistent in dividend payment.



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