Unilever Nigeria released its unaudited report for the period ended 30th September 2020. The Company recorded Turnover of N17.4 billion in the period under review. This represents a 21% increase compared to the previous Quarter 2 2020 and a 94% increase compared to N8.9bn recorded for the corresponding period, Q3 2019.
While the result shows the company recorded loss after tax of N1.5bn for the quarter ended 30th September 2020 representing a 49% improvement when compared to loss after tax N3.0bn recorded for the quarter ended 30th September 2019.
A precursory analysis of the firm’s quarter results indicates that revenue went up 93.9% to N17.39 billion from N8.97 billion in the same period in 2019.
The firm experienced significant revenue growth in two market segments, specifically Food products and Home and Personal Care. A close look reveals that revenue from Food Products rose to N9.83 billion from N5. 32 billion last year, while Home and Personal Care revenue climbed to N7.57 billion from N3.65 billion.
The progress that Unilever Nigeria Plc recorded is better appreciated when placed side by side with how its key competitor fared.
Consider that Unilever had a 25.1% q/q growth in food revenue relative to a decline of 16.1% for Nestle Plc. This performance implies that Unilever increased market share while Nestlé’s shrunk during the quarter. This may be indicative of the positive effects of the efforts of the new management.
Some analysts while acknowledging the challenging environment in which companies operated in this year would like to see the company go back to an enviable position of profit. It is acknowledged that this will be a mean feat, with all the foreign exchange and trade restrictions experienced by many companies within the country.
In 2020, beyond the usual vicissitudes of life, coronavirus (COVID 19) happened. Declared a pandemic by the WHO, it has precipitated widespread multisectoral disruption, tasked the global health system, and sparked unprecedented economic upheaval.
As the pandemic raged across the globe, manufacturing hubs shut down, governments enforced restriction of movement and billions of people were placed on lockdown. News reports from across the globe indicated that businesses have gone belly up, countries went bowl in hand seeking handouts and loans and individuals were content to simply mark themselves “safe”.
According to the World Bank Nigeria’s economy is projected to contract by about 4 per cent in 2020. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 stood at 27.1 per cent indicating that about 21,764,614 Nigerians remain unemployed. Inflation figure in September 2020 was creeping close to 14 per cent. This was the economic reality when Unilever Nigeria released its unaudited report for the period ended 30th September 2020.
With the pandemic, the lockdown and the recent social unrest taking its tow on the economy and many businesses in the country, it is hoped that Unilever Nigeria will remain focused on its strategy to deliver sustainable growth remaining true to its past optimism of growing the business both in the medium and long term, with clear emphasis on operational efficiency and cost optimization, increasing market share across key categories and improved route-to-market.