Fidson Healthcare Plc held its 21st Annual General Meeting last weekend at the Conference Centre, Fidson Towers in Obanikoro, Lagos. The AGM was held by proxy, to comply with the Federal government’s directives on social distancing and rules limiting social gathering to a maximum of 20 people. Shareholders approved a dividend of N0.15 per share while commending the company for ensuring that investors continue to get good value on their investments.
Fidson grew its profit for the year by 518% from a loss of N97.45 million in 2018 to N407.19 million in 2019. This is despite a decrease in Revenue of 13%, from N16.23 billion in FY2018 to N14.06 billion in FY2019, which is largely as a result of the impact of the rescheduled national elections on its business operations in the first half of 2019, as well as the ensuing consumer passivity.
According to the Chairman of the Board, Mr Segun Adebanji, the company adopted several cost optimization initiatives that ultimately led to the profitability increase. Gross margin improved from 39% in FY2018 to 42% in FY 2019, administrative and sales expenses reduced by 13% while finance cost dropped by over 10%. He reported that proceeds from the company’s Right Issue in July 2019 were used to repay expensive loans, finance capital expenditure and working capital needs.
Fidson continues to leverage its WHO-compliant factory, introducing 10 new products in 2019, and went into an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Plc to contract manufacture for them from 2021 onwards. This will ultimately drive an increase in output and efficiency, and bring variable costs of production down.
Looking into the future, the Board is committed to implementing strategic initiatives like international collaboration and Research & Development to drive sustainable growth as well as cement its leadership position in the industry.
The Covid-19 pandemic has provided opportunities to explore the development of new products and with the increasing support of the government for the healthcare sector, the company anticipates that it would successfully mitigate some of the shocks caused by the pandemic and emerge successful in the months ahead.