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Naira Devaluation Puts Pressure on Costs, Says NB

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Nigerian Breweries PLC
  • Naira Devaluation Puts Pressure on Costs, Says NB

The Nigerian Breweries Plc has said the devaluation of the naira and the nation’s inflation rate are putting pressure on its input costs amid a decline in consumers’ purchasing power.

The company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, who stated this on Tuesday at a media briefing in Lagos, however, described the Nigerian market’s fundamentals as positive.

He said the company had to increase prices last year to reduce the pressure on input costs, adding, “We continue to focus on reducing costs, and our drive for innovation is key.

“We are close to sourcing 50 per cent of our raw materials locally; we aim to get to 60 per cent before 2020.”

Vervelde said an analysis of the company’s audited results for 2016 showed that revenue rose by 6.7 per cent to N314bn from the N293bn it recorded in 2015.

He said, “When all factors are considered, our results have been positive and creditable over the years. Despite the deterioration in consumer purchasing power, our robust brand portfolio, which covers a broad spectrum of consumer needs, enabled us to protect revenue and profitability.

“The operating environment in 2016 was very challenging, especially from an input cost, foreign exchange and purchasing power perspectives. Our volume growth was in the mid-single digit region, coupled with the price increases that we implemented positively impacted our revenue growth.”

He said the company’s board had recommended a total dividend of N28.386bn for approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting slated for next month, in addition to an interim dividend of N7.9bn paid to shareholders last year.

According to Vervelde, the operating environment in 2017 is expected to be similar to 2016, but the company is confident that it is well positioned to adapt to the environment as required, and stay committed to delivering a good return on investment to shareholders.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

Econet Group and Mastercard To Collaborate on Fintech Solutions For Covid-19 Response in Africa

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NIBSS

The Econet Group through its subsidiary Cassava Fintech International (Cassava Fintech) and Mastercard have entered into a strategic partnership to advance digital inclusion across Africa and collaborate on a range of initiatives including expansion of the Africa CDC TravelPass.

TravelPass is a digital health pass developed by Cassava Fintech and offered in conjunction with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). It is accessible to users of Cassava Fintech’s Sasai SuperApp and is recognised as one of the leading initiatives in the fight against the cross-border spread of Covid-19 in Africa. Mastercard is partnering with Cassava Fintech to enhance the security of TravelPass through Mastercard’s Community Pass platform. Mastercard Community Pass is an interoperable digital platform facilitating service delivery for marginalised individuals and communities, including access to critical health services like patient care plan tracking for Covid-19.

The joint initiative between Mastercard and Cassava Fintech seeks to offer a unified solution with greater convenience and enhanced security, that is expected to promote safe cross border travel in Africa in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The partnership will also allow the two organizations to explore collaboration such as the further integration of the Community Pass with Cassava Fintech’s mobile and financial services, acquiring and processing of card payments across the continent, along with the introduction of a virtual or physical card on the Sasai SuperApp.

Cassava Fintech’s CEO, Darlington Mandivenga said the partnership with Mastercard would pave the way for both companies to jointly tackle the challenges facing African economies as they re-open post the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to work with Mastercard to explore solutions that will, among other things, mitigate the risk of falsified presentation of a third party’s Travel Pass at access and transit points,” Mandivenga said, adding that the same technology could also be used in payment solutions.

Cassava Fintech uses an integrated model to provide financial and digital services to ensure a “financially inclusive future that leaves no African behind”.

“We look forward to joining hands with Cassava Fintech in exploring new solutions that will make a difference and benefit the continent. In addition to digital innovation for future travel, Cassava will also leverage our secure payments network to advance access to financial services,” said Mark Elliott, Divisional President, Southern Africa, Mastercard.

Mastercard is a leading global technology company focused on building an inclusive, sustainable digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere, by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.

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Nestlé Health Science to Acquire Nuun

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Nestle

Nestlé Health Science and Nuun, a leader in functional hydration, have entered into an agreement in which Nestlé Health Science will acquire Nuun.

The acquisition complements Nestlé Health Science’s existing broad portfolio of active lifestyle nutrition brands with Nuun’s range of clean, low-sugar, effervescent tablets and powders.

“Every day, health-conscious consumers are becoming more aware of how functional hydration products can add to their overall well-being as well as support them during exercise by replacing the minerals that the body loses. That growing awareness is reflected in the steady growth of the category,” said Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science. “Nuun is a leader in the fast-growing functional hydration category with its high-quality, clean, plant-based products. We look forward to combining our companies’ expertise to bring Nuun to more people around the world.”

Nuun was founded in Seattle, Washington in 2004, pioneering the separation of electrolyte replacement from carbohydrates. Its low-sugar electrolyte tablet revolutionized the sports beverage market. It now has a broad range of effervescent tablets and powders containing additional minerals and vitamins for energy, relaxation and overall well-being.

“Nestlé Health Science and Nuun share the same philosophy: nothing is more important than health and well-being,” said Kevin Rutherford, CEO of Nuun. “In joining Nestlé Health Science, Nuun will further its mission of ‘hydration that empowers the world to move more.’ The Nuun team has built an incredible business and now with the reach, expertise and capabilities of Nestlé, I’m confident that together we will grow, even more, making people and the planet healthier.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2021. Financial details are not being disclosed.

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itel Partners Amatem and Drug-Aid Distributes Relief Materials In Fight Against Malaria

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itel Malaria Day

To commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day, itel recently partnered with Amatem Softgel, an anti-malaria drug in Nigeria, and Drug-Aid Africa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides medical drug supplies and support to low-income patients in Nigeria and across Africa.

A statement by itel explained that in tandem with the theme of this year’s World Malaria Day, ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, the three brands joined the global fight against malaria by donating treated mosquito nets, free medical tests, mosquito repellent cream and free anti-malaria drugs to over 1,500 households in Isale-Akoka Community, Bariga, Lagos state.

It explained that malaria is a prevalent disease in sub-Saharan Africa, and was responsible for thousands of deaths yearly, adding that as socially responsible organisations, itel, Amatem Softgel, and Drug-Aid Africa, “believe that they have a quota to contribute in ensuring a relatively healthier society.”

The Marketing Manager for West Africa and Nigeria, itel, Oke Umurhohwo, expressed commitment in bridging the gap in low-income communities through its ‘Love Always On CSR initiative.’

He added that the brand was partnering with Amatem Softgel and Drug Aid Africa to provide these communities, “with an even greater fighting chance against malaria is a part of our commitment to them.”

The General Manager, Elbe Pharma, Shivakumar, said: “Malaria is a life-threatening disease, but it is preventable and curable. We at Elbe continue to find a better way to combat this disease, support the vulnerable ones especially the young children. Hence, the introduction of this innovative anti-malaria brand AMATEM SOFTGEL and this CSR partnership.”

The Programme Officer, Drug-Aid Africa, Oluseyi Sanyaolu, said malaria has been ravaging the vulnerable in the society for years, saying, “it is the reasons why Drug-Aid Africa is dedicated to supporting those in indigent communities with medicines and medical supplies. Together, we can end this menace.”

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