No dividend for Unilever shareholders; but company focused on delivering growth

Shareholders of Unilever Ghana will not receive any dividend for the 2020 financial year.

This is due to the GH¢50 million loss posted by the fast moving consumer goods firm.

This notwithstanding, the company is focused on delivering consistent, competitive, profitable and sustainable growth. Its 2020 Annual Report revealed.

Giving an overview of the firm’s performance last year, Board Chairman, Edward Effah, said  Unilever Ghana’s results for the year ended 2020 showed a 37% increase in revenue from GH¢333 million in 2019 to GH¢456 million in 2020.

The growth, it said, represented a sustained momentum throughout the year despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our operating loss for the year ended 2020 was GH¢22 million, which is a significant improvement from GH¢206 million loss for the same period in 2019. This translated into a loss after tax for the year ended 2020 of GH¢50 million, against a GH¢160 million loss for the same period in 2019.

For his part, Managing Director, George Owusu-Ansah said it had two concurrent priorities in 2020 – reset and stabilize the business for growth after the challenges of 2019 and respond to and operate safely in the face of the COVID -19 pandemic.

Speaking on the priority of resetting the company, Mr. Owusu-Ansah said Unilever Ghana successfully onboarded and settled the new leadership team, reconciled balances with all major customers and carried out repayment of customer overdue balances as well as reset trade terms and credit days for customers to drive on-time payment and improve customer profitability.

This improvement amongst others, the MD said delivered the reported growth, enhancement of cash flow and profitability.

Beauty and Personal Care

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) category delivered a strong 25.2% underlying sales growth.

All the major sub-categories in BPC grew.

Oral Care grew by 41.8%, whilst Skin Cleansing grew by 10.5%. The COVID-19 preventive habit of hand washing with soap under running water increased usage of the skin cleansing brands, especially Lifebuoy and Champion Carbolic soap.

In 2020, the BPC category rolled-out new innovations. The innovations included the very well received Pepsodent Charcoal, and Lifebuoy Hand Sanitisers, amongst others.

Home Care

The Home Care category achieved an underlining sales growth of 20.5% and remains the market leader in the fabric solutions segment despite intense competition.

This growth was fueled by impactful launches across the brands.

The likes of Omo experienced a face lift with the exciting launch of the Omo Extra Fresh variant that offers Ghanaians an additional benefit of extra fragrance in their washing experience. The introduction of Key Brillant at 140grams also strengthened the value offering for its mainstream consumers.

Foods and Refreshment

The Foods and Refreshment Category maintained its market leadership position across the subcategories, salt & tea.

The category achieved an underlining sales growth of 45.2%.

Operating and Financial Review

Unilever Ghana PLC results for the year ended 31 December 2020 showed a 37% increase in revenue from GH¢333 million in 2019 to GH¢456 million in 2020.

Operating loss for the year was GH¢22 million, an improvement from same period last year 2019 of GH¢206 million.

Loss after tax for the year was GH¢50 million in 2020 versus GH¢160 million loss in 2019.

Source: Joy Business

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