Unilever Nigeria Plc has recorded guaranteed dividend payments as strong revenue performance on the back of price increases and revaluation gains on receivables have helped propel the company’s profit even amid macro-shocks.
For the year ended December 2023, Unilever’s profit surged by 91.47 percent to N8.54 billion from N4.46 billion as of December 2022.
The growth at the bottom line (profit) was largely driven by impairment write back on trade receivable and other to a tone N3.50 billion and 157.14 percent surge in finance income.
Of course, the sale of some property, plant, and equipment also helped underpin profit.
Revenue was up 50.72 percent to N97.43 billion in December 2023 from M64.64 billion the previous year.
The strong revenue performance was supported by the company’s implementation of route-to-market distribution strategies, intensification of marketing activities, as well as volume and price increases.
The consumer goods giant made money from its core operations as operating profit spiked by 88.24 percent to N17.13 billion in the period under review from N9.10 billion the previous year.
Analysts at Meristem Securities expect that Unilever may introduce new brands to its product line to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and maintain relevance in the Nigerian consumer goods market.
“The strong brand reputation of their food products like Knorr seasoning cubes and Royco is expected to bolster revenue performance,” said analysts at Meristem Securities.
Despite a high inflationary environment and rising input costs, Unilever can record margin expansion.
Net profit margin rose to 8.76 percent in December 2023 from 6.89 percent as at December 2022.
The operating profit margin increased to 17.58 percent in the period under review from 14.07 percent the previous year.
Also, the stock has been actively traded in terms of liquidity, with a trading frequency of 100 percent over the last 5 years (2018-2023).
“This high liquidity indicates that investors can easily buy or sell shares, facilitating efficient market entry and exit. In conclusion, a BUY recommendation is extended, underpinned by a positive medium to long-term outlook,” summed analysts at Meristem Securities.