WhatsApp has announced plans to launch a new pay-to-use tool for businesses to communicate with their customers.
The new platform will enable companies to provide information and services, such as delivery dates or boarding passes, to customers, while the messages will be charged at a fixed rate for confirmed delivery, ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country. The new fee is for businesses as users will still be able to chat with friends free of charge.
According to Reuters, the Facebook-owned messaging application, WhatsApp currently has around 1.5 billion users and Facebook has been looking for ways to monetise its WhatsApp service in the face of rising costs as it spends heavily to improve privacy safeguards and tackles concerns about social media addiction.
According to Facebook:
“Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don’t get cluttered, in addition, messages will remain end-to-end encrypted and you can block any business with the tap of a button.”
Recall that Facebook had paid $19 billion to buy WhatsApp in 2014 and there has been growing speculation about how Facebook intended to make money from it. This new move comes three months after WhatsApp’s former boss Jan Koum announced he was quitting the service he had co-founded.
Also, WhatsApp had announced in January that it would start allowing small business accounts to communicate through the WhatsApp Business application, which has over 3 million active users. WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema said then that WhatsApp intends to charge businesses in the future.
Facebook also announced that users on Instagram can now see the amount of time they spend on the app each day and receive notifications when they exceed a self-prescribed threshold. Users also can mute notifications from the apps for up to eight hours.
Many are of the opinion that the new fee on WhatsApp is an attempt by its founders to cash boost the social network platform which recently suffered the biggest one-day price drop in history.
COVID-19, VAT, FX scarcity adversely impacted our operations in 2020 – Nigerian Breweries boss says
NB Plc’s operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase and FX devaluation.
The management of Nigeria’s leading brewer, Nigerian Breweries Plc has revealed that its operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase, FX devaluation and scarcity of foreign exchange.
This statement was made by the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, at the company’s pre-AGM media briefing for the financial year-end 2020, which held in Lagos this week.
He noted that the increase in the brewer’s cost in 2020 was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted the company’s operations, as well as the increase in VAT, devaluation and FX scarcity which has put pressure on input cost.
The Nigerian Breweries boss explained further that the increase in cost could not be fully attributed to currency devaluation and foreign exchange scarcity.
He explained that the increase in costs of goods sold, as reported in its audited financial results, could also be linked to the increase in the volume of goods sold, as the company’s sales volume in 2020 increased by almost the same percentage as the cost of goods sold.
To deal with this challenge going forward, he revealed that the company is focused on the supply chain, and will continue to seek out ways to mitigate any of the price increases coming from FX scarcity.
The company’s profitability in question?
An analysis of the company’s result revealed that despite the 4.3% increase in net revenue from N323.00 billion recorded in 2019, to a total of N337.01 billion in 2020, the company’s profit declined significantly by 53.3% to N7.53 billion.
Speaking on this, Jordi Borrut in his statement at the press briefing noted that the brewer’s business performance in 2020 was quite impressive especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. Despite these challenges, the company maintained a strong and healthy balance sheet.
“There was a slight reduction in profitability but compared to the previous year, the business witnessed an improved growth in revenue. The significance of this is that the business became more stable and healthier,” he said.
What you should know
- Nigerian breweries, being the largest brewer in the country, maintained its stance in terms of generating profits year-on-year. The company emerged as the only brewer to record a profit of N7.37 billion from its operations in 2020, 54.3% lower than 2019 figures (N16.1 billion).
- From this, the leading brewer was able to pay shareholders a total dividend of N7.5 billion, translating to a dividend of 94 kobos per share – a dividend payout in which exceeds 100%.
- While Guinness and International Breweries made a loss of N12.6 billion and N24.9 billion respectively, this reality impacted their ability to pay their shareholders dividends in 2020.
Highest paid Nigerian bank MD/CEOs of 2020
Bank MD/CEOs in Nigeria earned a combined N1.5 billion in salaries in 2020.
The banking sector, especially commercial banks, is one of the most profitable sectors of the Nigerian Economy churning out profits of close to a trillion in 2020 alone. They are also one of the highest employers of labours in the country employing over 93,000 Nigerians.
Sitting at the helm of affairs is the Chief Executive/Managing Director, the highest-ranking executive in the organization saddled with the responsibility of making the best corporate decisions, oversight of the execution of the organisation’s corporate strategies and most importantly increasing the shareholders’ return. The buck basically stops on their table.
Thus, these enormous responsibilities also come with a considerable executive compensation for their service making them ostensibly the highest-ranking staff of the bank.
In typical Nairametrics fashion, we bring to you a list of the highest-ranking bank CEOs for 2020 based on their executive compensation (exec comps). The bank MD/CEOs under our review earned over N1.5 billion in salaries in 2020.
The data was sourced from the published audited accounts of the bank and verified by Nairametrics Research.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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