VENTURES AFRICA – The out-going Chairman of Nigerian foam manufacturer Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Samuel Bolarinde, has disclosed the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is financing Vitafoam to construct a new factory in Sierra Leone, which will see it expand operations across West Africa.
Though the amount of the finance was not disclosed, Samuel Bolarinde said: “The construction of a proposed foam factory in Sierra-Leone has commenced. The project is being financed by International Finance Corporation through a soft loan. Our activities in Ghana and Sierra-Leone will eventually spread the Vitafoam brand to all parts of the West African sub region.”
THISDAY reports the Chairman stated that by the end of the second quarter of the year, full-scale production is expected to begin at the Sierra-Leone plant.
He said this in Lagos, at the company’s 51st Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the year ending 2012.
The company recorded lower profit due to heightened security tension caused by the Boko Haram terrorist group, and other factors, which hindered distribution; also, the burden of rising cost of raw materials which could not be transferred to consumers.
“Turnover increased marginally from 13, 979 billion naira ($88.3million) in 2010/2011 to 14, 126 billion ($89.2 million) in the year under review. Operating profit reduced from 970.25 million naira ($6.13 million) in 2010/2011 to 857.89 million naira ($5.42 million) in 2011/2012. Profit after tax did decline from 673.02 million naira ($4.25 million) to 546.75 million naira ($3.45 million) in 2011/2012,” the Chairman said.
Addressing shareholders, he made an assurance: “We will however continue to leverage our brand capital and the group synergy to ensure that the company stays resilient to anticipated impact of uncertainties in the global and local operating environment.”