Guinness Nigeria Gets $95bn Loan From Diageo

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Guinness Nigeria disclosed yesterday that it had received a $95 million loan from mother body Diageo to help it cope with dollar shortages in the West African country caused by a slump in crude prices.

This followed after the company reported revenues of N102billion resulting in an overall Loss after tax of N2 billion, its first loss in 30-years, hit by declining sales, dollar shortages and domestic inflation running at 11-year high of 17.6 percent.

Disclosing this, Peter Ndegwa, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc said “Our performance this year was impacted by two major factors, one being the very tough economic challenges around consumer spending, driving consumer preferences towards value brands across the sector, the other, and more significant factor being the effect of FX policy and the devaluation of the Naira.

‘‘When you take out the impact of the latter, our underlying performance for the year was broadly in line with the prior year in spite of the pressure on the top line.’’

Chief finance officer Ronald Plumridge said the company’s currency needs were much bigger than it was able to source locally and from its exports and so Diageo had stepped in with the loan.

The loan was priced at 3-month Libor plus 4.75 percent, he said.
It said it would cut its total dividend to 0.50 naira for 2016 from 3.20 naira a year ago and also cut 310 staff in the last quarter of the year, the CFO said.

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