Odu’a Investments Company Ltd. has declared an annual earning of N4.068 billion and a profit before tax of N698 million for the 2017 fiscal year. The earning is a 3.8 per cent increase over the previous year’s N3.918 billion.
The Chairman, Board of Directors of the conglomerate, Engr Olusola Akinwumi and its Group Managing Director (GMD), Mr Adewale Raji, disclosed this while addressing reporters after the company’s 36th Annual General Meeting at its Cocoa House, Ibadan headquarters on Wednesday.
Consequently, the company declared N277.78 million dividends to its shareholders.
According to Akinwumi, the company was able to achieve the feat in spite of the 16.5 per cent inflation rate for the year which raised costs. He added that the conglomerate’s ‘skewed assets in real estate’ adversely affected its business as many clients and tenants in rented commercial, retail and residential properties defaulted in rent payments.
Noting that the company made disciplined investments for growth opportunities, Akinwumi said: “We recently embarked on a full buy-back of minority holding leading to 100 per cent ownership of one of the moribund manufacturing outfits in the group, Cocoa Industries Limited, Ikeja, (the erstwhile producer of VITALO cocoa beverage) for better utilization of its facilities in joint ventures.
He disclosed that the company had already undertaken a commercial cultivation of tomatoes on a portion of its 3,500 hectares arable farmland in Imeko, Ogun State. Akinwumi pointed out that the company would ultimately set up a processing plant for tomato paste and concentrate for value addition and socio-economic development.
Raji said the company would focus on exploring its potential by seeking and introducing new and innovative products in coming years to broaden its revenue base and improve service delivery to shareholders.
He said its fiscal discipline and focus on its vision and investments in new businesses, will drive the company’s growth in coming years in spite of the challenging economic climate locally and internationally.
Raji pointed out that payment of N277.78 million dividends brought to a total sum of about N920 million which the company has paid its shareholders since 2014, a feat he described as unprecedented.
Secretaries to the state governments (SSGs) of the Southwest states which are the shareholders, commended the performance, saying the company was moving towards the right direction.
The Oyo State SSG, Alh. Olalekan Alli, said the strides made in reviving Cocoa Industries and investments in agriculture are major steps towards delivering social benefits to the people of the region.