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Companies

Mr. Price plans to exit Nigeria, closes stores in the country 

The company said it is going to be focusing on South Africa in a more concentrated way.

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Mr. Price plans to exit Nigeria, closes stores in the country 

Mr. Price Group is making plans to close its Nigerian business to focus on its home market business in South Africa. 

The popular affordable clothing, sport, and home wear brand has closed four out of its five Nigerian stores and expects to close the last one in the coming months.  

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This was disclosed by its Chief Executive Officer, Mark Blair. 

READ ALSO: Why Maritime sector slows nation’s GDP

Nigeria is the third country where the company has exitedas it had left Australia and Poland just last year.  The Durban-based company cited challenges like supply-chain disruptions and challenges in getting funds out of the country as reasons it has struggled to operate in Nigeria. 

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Mark Stirton, Chief Financial Officer of Mr. Price explained that, “We are really going to focus on South Africa in a more concentrated way.” 

READ ALSO: Multichoice to integrate Netflix, Amazon contents into decoder

The company is just one out of the few companies that have left Nigeria over the past few years. Companies like Woolworths Holdings Ltd. left the country in 2013. Shoprite Holdings Ltd. had also noted just last year that it may close some stores in the country as well. 

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The company predicts that it might face a few challenges among other retail companies in South Africa particularly owing to the lockdown it is only gradually emerging from. 

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Consequently, Mr. Price had been seeking out ways to conserve cash; it froze head-office salaries and did not declare a final dividend. It also announced plans to sell shares so as to expand its operations through growth, last year. 

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Patricia
3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Musa hakilu

    June 27, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    I like to have the lou pls

  2. Kelechi Azubuike-Luke

    June 27, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Sad to see them go. I will miss their tank tops. Nigeria is a difficult place to do business despite the Ease of Doing Business initiatives.

  3. Omebighe Stanley

    June 28, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Aside the difficulty in Profit repatriation, there is a challenge of clearing goods timely from our port. This supply chain challenge really affect seasonal stock business _ Nothing is predictable in Nigeria

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Companies

Microsoft plans to train 25 million workers for free in 2020

A number of organizations, over the past few months have come up with similar training programs.

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Microsoft plans to train 25 million workers for free in 2020

Microsoft Corp aims to provide free online classes and resources for job-hunting to 25 million people by the end of 2020 as a way to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The classes are going to be held on LinkedIn andGitHub online platforms and are expected to teach 10 highly demanded jobs. 

The training is available to workers across the globe and it is geared towards teaching digital skills. The pandemic, having created a more technology-dependent face of work, and Microsoft is on a quest to aid the development of digital skills ranging from data analysis, digital marketing, and help-desk services.  

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Microsoft, leveraging data from its LinkedIn business, chose 10 job roles as a result of the growing demand for them as well as their potential to provide opportunities for a wide range of people – including those without college degrees.  

READ MORE: Microsoft acquires CyberX to beef cybersecurity 

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s presidentcalled it “the largest skills initiative” explaining that Automation and artificial intelligence are changing the skills required for probably every occupation; hence, workers without digital skills will fall further and further behind.  

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“Everything we envisioned when 2020 began has accelerated more quickly than we imagined. Even when COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, equipping individuals with work skills will remain an extremely important priority for companies like us and for the economy as a whole.” 

Skills training in recent years has moved increasingly online, as providers of online classes like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera and others have emerged, offering ease and affordability compared to traditional education options.  

READ ALSO: Just In: Opay shuts down other business arms to focus mainly on fintech

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A number of organizations, over the past few months have come up with similar training programs. Just last month, Bank of America noted that job training and career reskilling would be one of its four focus areas for $1 billion in funding for economic-opportunity initiatives over the next four years. In the same month, Walmart Foundation had also donated $6 million to Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit organization focused on identifying and scaling successful workforce-development programs. 

Microsoft will give users access to LinkedIn content for “learning paths” relating to the 10 jobs until the end of 2020. Its commitment also includes $20 million in grants to organizations that will support individuals using the free resources, as well as $5 million to companies that cater to the needs of communities of color. 

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Companies

Andela to expand presence to all African countries

Andela also announced it will accept Pan African applications from engineers with full-stack programming experience.

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Andela to expand presence to all African countries

Global Engineering Talent company, Andela that helps companies build remote engineering teams announced on Wednesday that it now accepts Engineers from all African countries.

Andela says it is a bid “ to double is final talent pool and connect an even greater number of specialist engineers with opportunities”.

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Andela also announced it will accept Pan African applications from engineers with full-stack programming experience such as Node, React, Python and Ruby.

Andela co-founder, Jeremy Johnson says, “Over the past five years, we have become experts at identifying engineering excellence from non-traditional backgrounds. We know that there are extremely talented engineers across Africa and we believe that opportunity should not be limited by proximity to a major tech hub. Being a remote-first engineering organization allows us to open up access to Andela for engineers across the continent.”

He added that the removal of location-based restrictions will help double Andela’s talent pool to roughly 500,000 engineers in Africa, who will leverage on Andela’s work with top international engineering teams.

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READ MORE: 130 farmers to receive seed funding of N100,000 each

Andela’s customers include Cloudflare, Wellio, ViacomCBS and Women Who Code and helps them gain access to high-quality software engineers who work as long-term, embedded team members.

Andela said the announcement will enable companies that it works with to source the talent they need, “by opening up to additional talent pools access the continent.”

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Co-founder Johnson also said the world is realising remote work will be a catalyst for “democratization of opportunity by doubling our talent pool, we are professional to help accelerate their critical work of building the future.”

Absa was launched in 2014 and prior to being a fully remote organization, Andela operated in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. the company says it has fully completed the transition to full remote with a pilot program in Ghana (2018) and Egypt last year.

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Companies

FrieslandCampina WAMCO announced PBT of N18.75 billion, 15% up from 2018 

Langat stated that the company pushed through the challenging business environment during the year.

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FrieslandCampina WAMCO announced PBT of N18.75 billion, 15% up from 2018 

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, has announced a profit before tax of N18.75 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019.

This represents a 15 per cent increase from the N16.31 billion posted in 2018.

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The producers of Peak and Three Crowns Milk also announced a turnover of N161.83 billion for the year, 8.5% up from the N149.16 billion declared in 2018.

Mr Ben Langat, Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, announced this on Thursday at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the company held virtually.

NAN reports that the shareholders unanimously approved a total dividend payout of N9.49 per 50k share. This sums up the interim dividend of N2.68 per 50k share in November 2019; with a final dividend payout of N6.81 per share.

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Langat stated that the company pushed through the challenging business environment during the year, coming up with several innovations to stay profitable.

“In the year under review, the business environment remained challenging. In spite of the headwinds, FrieslandCampina WAMCO played a leading role in Nigeria’s backward integration initiative led by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the dairy sector,” Langat said.

(READ MORE: Japaul Oil & Maritime Services plans to invest in gold mining)

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He stated further that the company has activated it Dairy Development Programme (DDP) in Bobi Grazing Reserve, modeling 10 years success of the programme on a 10,000-hectare grazing reserve in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger, and also inaugurated a state-of-the-art factory for the production of Yoghurt and introduced the new Peak Yoghurt Drink in three distinct flavours (Plain Sweetened, Strawberry and Orange) into the market, in line with its business plan.

He promised that the company would continue to focus on providing better nutrition and advocating healthy living, as well as pursuing its backward integration for business sustainability.

On the company’s business outlook for 2020, Langat said that the Board of Directors and management of FrieslandCampina WAMCO remained positive and confident about the future of the company, in spite of the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

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