NASCON Allied Industries Plc achieved a one-fifth surge in its gross sales for the first half of this year, bringing its revenue up by N3.041 billion to N17.570 billion.
The company, however, faced a pressure so huge from cost of running business that it had a depressed profit to show for it, the year-to-June financials of the salt-maker showed Monday.
It committed N3.287 billion to goods distribution, which was 20 per cent higher than that of the corresponding period of last year, N2.216 billion of that going to spending on external haulage in its freight services arm.
In the same vein, administrative expenses climbed 30 per cent largely because of notable jump in employee costs and an increase of more than three times in spending on local travel, standing at N89.213 million.
NASCON, a manufacturer of stock cubes, seasoning, tomato paste and vegetable oil apart from refining salt, was jointly owned by the Nigerian government and Atlantic Salt & Chemical Inc. of Los Angeles, California, US under the name National Salt Company of Nigeria until Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest man, bought it out in 1991.
Profit before tax slid 6 per cent to N1.451 billion, while profit for the period was weaker by 3 per cent at N1.451 billion, according to its unaudited financial statements posted by the Nigerian Exchange and seen PREMIUM TIMES.
Nigeria’s dominantly agrarian north contributed at least six naira of every ten naira sales NASCON made between January and June. But that region has been facing hurdles in supplying adequate tomatoes needed to keep a 1200-ton per day processing plant owned by Dangote Industries Limited running and profitable since start in 2015.
The factory, intended to ease Nigeria’s leaning on China for tomato paste imports, could only function at 20 per cent of nameplate capacity since most parts of the plant were shut down four years ago partly because of a sweeping pest attack on farmlands cultivating the crop, and partly for want of resources needed by farmers to boost production, Bloomberg said.
NASCON closed trade in Lagos on Monday at N15 per unit, gaining 0.33 per cent.
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