The mattress industry has evolved from simple innerspring mattresses to orthopaedic memory foam models and hybrids.
Mattress sales have been increasing and are expected to continue. This can be attributed to the rise in homeownership as well as increased demand for products that improve sleep and general well-being.
However, one peculiar challenge for Nigerian foam manufacturing companies is the availability of raw materials, which are typically imported.
Furthermore, the major chemicals used in manufacturing are very expensive, which are by-products of crude oil extraction and are thus impacted by fluctuations in crude oil prices on the global market. Counterfeiting of mattresses is also a problem.
However, a major player in the mattress/foam manufacturing industry in Nigeria, which has been in existence since 1962 is Vitafoam Nigeria Plc.
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Vitafoam Nigeria Plc. is a Nigerian foam manufacturing company that manufactures and sells flexible and reconstituted foam products and furniture. It is publicly traded on the Nigerian stock exchange. The company has factories in Lagos, Kano, Jos, and Aba, as well as a distribution network that spans the entire country, including Ghana and Sierra Leone, with a workforce of over 600 people.
British Vita, a company specializing in the manufacture of latex foam pillows and mattresses, began the business in 1962. British Vita subsequently decreased its shareholding from 50% to 20% in 1978 and partnered with regional distributor G.B. Ollivant. In 1963, Ikeja Industrial Estate started producing.
Polyether products; thereafter, a polyether foaming unit was established in the Ikeja factory in 1966.
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Furthermore, the Aba factory was founded in 1972 to manufacture polyether foam for mattresses, furniture, and transportation applications in the eastern region. Except for Delta and Edo, the factory now serves the five Eastern states and four South-South states.
Later, Kano factory was founded in 1974 after the Aba factory using the continuous foaming plant. The Jos factory was next, established in 1982 and produces various brands of mattresses (except Orthopaedic and spring mattresses which are presently supplied from its Ikeja Factory) and distributes other products produced by all Vitafoam’s subsidiaries in the North Central Region of Nigeria.
- Dr. Bamidele Makanjuola – Chairman
Dr. Makajuola was the former Executive Director & Managing Director. He has a doctorate from Loughborough University and an undergraduate degree from Obafemi Awolowo University. He is currently on the board of DN Tyre & Rubber Plc., a member of Polymer Institute of Nigeria and a member of The Nigerian Society of Engineers.
- Taiwo Ayodele Adeniyi. Chief Executive Officer, Group MD & Director
- Joseph Alegbesogie- Finance Director & Director
- Abbagana M. Abatcha- Director, Group Director-Technical & Development
Partnerships And Subsidiaries
Before purchasing Vono Products, the company formed a strategic alliance with the struggling competitor in 2011. The acquisition of Vono Products increased the company’s market share in the furniture industry and was able to expand its product offering in the 2000s by investing in modern sleep options, which are now managed by four of its subsidiaries: Vitapur, Vitagreen, Vitavisco, and Vitablom. Vitapaur.
In total, the company has 7 subsidiaries which are: Vono Furniture Products Ltd., Vitablom Nig. Ltd., Vitapur Nig. Ltd., Vitavisco Nig. Ltd., Vitagreen Nig. Ltd., Vitafoam Sierra Leone Ltd. and Vitafoam Ghana Ltd.
The full spectrum of their products is categorized into Mattresses, Pillows, Bedding, Furniture, Mother & Child and Lifestyle products. The products generally include mattresses, cushions, pillows, upholstery sheeting, shoes, insulation and elastic products, soft and hard furniture amongst others.
Here is a breakdown of the subsidiaries based on their product offering is as follows:
- Vono provides furniture products for hospitality, offices, homes and Institutions.
- Vitablom was incorporated in 2010 and produces soft furnishing, beddings and flat sheet fibre offering pillows duvets and bedsheets in Nigeria.
- VitaPur manufactures, fabricates, and installs its various polyurethane rigid foam products, some of which include Prefabricated buildings, Sandwich panels, Insulation boards, Chemicals systems, and pre-cut pipe sections. Vitapur also performs in-situ insulation services through spray foam equipment and other utility equipment.
- Vitavisco produces Viscoelastic foam, also called memory foam which is characterized by its slow recovery after compression.
- Vitafoam Sierra Leone manufactures mattresses of varied resilience and hardness
- Vitaparts currently produce two variants of oil filters for synthetic and conventional automobiles: Spin-on Vitafilter and Cartridge Vitafilter.
The company sells its products directly and indirectly through distributors all over the country. As at July 2022, its revenue was N42.80bn with a net income in N5.26bn.
Vitafoam Nigeria Plc. has been listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange since 1978. As at that time, 50% of the company’s shares were each held by Vita International limited, a subsidiary of British Vita Plc and Central and West Africa (C.W.A) Holdings (a subsidiary of Unilever Plc.
Its current market capitalization stands at N28.14 billion, while its shares on the Stock Exchange are currently trading at N20.35 per share.
Its major competitors are Mouka foam, Winco foam and Sara foam. While VitaFoam is a public company that is traded on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mouka Ltd is a family-owned and privately-held enterprise.
In July 2022, the company announced the introduction of a new product called polyethylene (PE) to its product offerings. The aim is to reduce the risks associated with maintenance of fragile electronic items and other goods in Nigeria.
According to the company’s General Manager, Mr. Joseph Musa, “The product is used by makers of school bags, travel bags and Insulation products for air conditioner drain pipes. It is ideal for use as an expansion, contraction, and isolation joint in swimming pool decks, gutter work, floor slabs, pavement patch repair, sidewalks, driveways, plazas, parking decks, highways, and airports. The product enhances cooling of roofs. It is useful in comfort homes and shopping mauls.
“Similar products are molded high resilience foams used for automotive seating such as in motorcycles, tricycles and passenger buses.
“Others also include molded high resilience foams for a seat, back and head supports used in office chairs and other upholstered furniture applications”.