A frontline manufacturer of coated paints and allied products, Berger Paints Nigeria (BPN) PLC, has emerged the first company in Nigeria to commence a four-day work week, scheduled for July 1st 2022, to upscale productivity through flexible operation and extended rest period for its staff.
But the novel work initiative, which has been embraced by the Company’s staff, will neither lead to staff rationalization nor salary reduction.
In a statement, the Company’s Chairman, Mr Abi Ayida, assured that the new four-day work week would not affect the customers and other external stakeholders as full week of services would still be provided in certain core functions related to customer fulfillment.
“ We have thought long and hard on how we can better take care of our people in an impactful and lasting way. I am therefore pleased to announce that we will from next month be the first Nigerian company, that I am aware of, to permanently change to a four day work week. The four-day week will not lead to staff rationalization. The intended outcome of this change is enhanced productivity from better rested people. Rest and recovery is a key metric of sustained performance.
“ This initiative will go a long way in redressing this imbalance and is not only beneficial to the employee but will also benefit the company. For far too many employees their place of work represents the only setting where they are assured of basic services like power, water and security. Human capital is our most precious resource as a company and we intend to nurture and protect our people in any way we can.
“ Our transition to more flexible working practices was initially primarily driven by the mobility challenges that are the outcome of perennial traffic congestion. We continue to have a firm understanding that this was a significant but not easily quantifiable, real cost to our business. “, said Ayida.
According to him, mobility constraints have always impacted significantly on companies productivity across the board in Nigeria and as a forward looking organization, prior to the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic, BPN had invested heavily in Technology to upscale its global competitiveness.
“ One of the first significant decisions I made when I became the Chairman was to lead a transition to more flexible working practices. In 2018, we made the decision to invest in fully interactive Board and Management meeting rooms with full virtual capabilities. By the time the Pandemic came along 15 months later, we had already fully embraced hybrid or virtual meetings with our external stakeholders who had that capability.
“ Our environment is very detrimental to work-life balance. As a manufacturing company, a significant segment of our staff by the nature of their jobs are involved in repetitive tasks as part of the manufacturing process. In order to maintain our consistently high quality levels, very high levels of concentration over extended periods are required. The unrelenting and deteriorating nature of our harsh operating environment has a cumulative corroding effect on an employee’s physical and mental well-being.
“ The ongoing Pandemic does seem, in hindsight, to be a mere precursor to absolutely dire global macroeconomic headwinds. We have always operated in a challenging environment but the current situation is unprecedented in the unrelenting nature of the disruptions. As an organization we are focused on thriving despite the environment and that can only be achieved through meticulous preparation, a very dynamic and infinitely flexible approach to strategy design and implementation.
“ We are blessed with an ideal blend of very experienced and new dynamic entrants in our workforce and we have significantly invested in transparent communication of our objectives and how the outcomes are beneficial. We are confident that we have enrolled enough advocates and change agents in the process. “, said Ayida.
Nigerian Breweries Records $99 Million Foreign Exchange Loss, CEO Reveals
Nigerian Breweries, a subsidiary of Heineken NV, has faced a setback as it disclosed a $99 million foreign exchange loss in its recent financial report.
The revelation was made by Hans Essaadi, the CEO of Nigerian Breweries Plc, during an investor call held in Lagos.
Essaadi attributed the loss to a myriad of economic challenges gripping Nigeria, including the drastic devaluation of the naira and cash scarcity resulting from the nation’s demonetization program.
He explained that the mainstream lager market witnessed a significant decline due to consumers’ inability to afford products like Goldberg after a hard day’s work.
The naira’s depreciation, losing approximately 70% of its value against the dollar since June, has exacerbated inflation to almost 30% in January.
These economic upheavals have placed immense strain on household incomes, especially in a nation where a significant portion of the population lives in extreme poverty.
Despite recording a 9% increase in revenue to 599.6 billion naira, Nigerian Breweries reported a staggering net loss of 106 billion naira for the fiscal year 2023, a stark contrast to the 13.18 billion naira profit from the previous year.
In response to the ongoing challenges, Nigerian Breweries aims to source more raw materials locally to mitigate foreign exchange risks.
The company has also implemented higher product prices effective February 19th to navigate through the turbulent economic landscape.
Despite the bleak financial report, Essaadi affirmed Nigerian Breweries’ commitment to weathering the storm, expressing confidence in the company’s portfolio, processes, and personnel to navigate the challenging market conditions ahead.
Barclays Plc Shares Surge 6.9% on £10 Billion Shareholder Payout Announcement
Shares of Barclays Plc surged by 6.9% following the announcement of a monumental £10 billion shareholder payout.
The British banking giant’s decision to return such a substantial sum to its investors marks a significant milestone in its financial strategy.
The announcement comes in the wake of Barclays’ robust performance, culminating in a return on tangible equity of 9% for the fiscal year 2023.
Demonstrating a forward-looking approach, the company aims to elevate this metric to above 12% by the year 2026, underlining its commitment to sustained growth and profitability.
Chief Executive Officer C.S. Venkatakrishnan expressed Barclays’ dedication to optimizing its operations and enhancing shareholder value.
By implementing rigorous cost-cutting measures, the company plans to reduce costs by £2 billion over the coming years.
The restructuring efforts extend to the reorganization of Barclays into five distinct divisions, each strategically positioned to cater to diverse client needs and optimize service delivery.
The surge in Barclays’ shares reflects investor confidence in the bank’s strategic direction and its ability to deliver on its promises.
The appointment of new leadership roles and the realignment of business divisions underscore Barclays’ proactive stance in adapting to evolving market dynamics and regulatory landscapes.
Barclays’ pledge to streamline operations, bolster returns, and prioritize shareholder interests positions it favorably within the competitive financial landscape.
The £10 billion shareholder payout announcement signals a pivotal moment for Barclays Plc, solidifying its status as a formidable player in the global banking arena and setting the stage for sustained growth and value creation in the years ahead.
Capital One Financial Corp. to Acquire Discover Financial Services in $35 Billion Mega Deal
Capital One Financial Corp. has announced its intention to acquire Discover Financial Services in a $35 billion deal.
This strategic acquisition positions Capital One as the largest credit card company in the United States by loan volume, intensifying competition with Wall Street’s prominent players.
Under the terms of the agreement, Capital One will purchase Discover at a premium, offering 1.0192 of its own shares for each Discover share—a 26.6% premium based on the closing price on February 16th.
Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals from both entities, the deal is anticipated to conclude in late 2024 or early 2025.
The merger between Capital One and Discover represents the most significant global consolidation this year, surpassing notable acquisitions in various sectors.
By combining forces, Capital One and Discover unite two esteemed consumer-finance brands, effectively eclipsing competitors such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. in US credit-card loan volume.
This acquisition not only amplifies Capital One’s market share but also grants the company a formidable position within the payment networks sphere.
Capital One’s CEO, Richard Fairbank, described the merger as a “singular opportunity” to establish a robust presence alongside the largest payment networks, underscoring the transformative potential of the deal.
Upon completion, Capital One shareholders will possess approximately 60% ownership of the consolidated entity, with Discover shareholders owning the remaining stake.
The acquisition is expected to yield significant synergies, generating $2.7 billion in pretax benefits.
The strategic rationale behind the acquisition underscores the increasing importance of scale and technological capabilities in the financial sector.
By leveraging Discover’s extensive network and Capital One’s expertise, the combined entity aims to drive innovation and enhance value for customers in an ever-evolving market landscape.
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