Shareholders Decry May & Baker’s Poor Performance


By Eromosele Abiodun, 07.11.2010 


Shareholders of May & Baker Plc have expressed dissatisfaction over the drop in the company’s financial performance for the year ended 31st December, 2009.They also queried the inadequate recordings in the percentage of shares held by the chairman of the company, Major General Theophilus Danjuma.


Shareholders’ right activist, Nona Awoh and Bamidele Bature, who spoke on behalf of other shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, accused the marketing arm of the company of redundancy. They insisted that they contributed largely to the reduction in the bottom-line of the company.


Bature advised the management to put adequate measure in place to reposition the company for increased returns next year.He said with the acceptability of the products of the company, shareholders of the company ought to be enjoying high dividend yield on their investment.


Awoh, who raised the question on the shareholding structure of the company, said such discrepancies in figures as documented in the annual report of the company do not portray the company in good light. He also drew the attention of the board to the recycling of old directors who although have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the company but must allow the younger generation to come on board for sake of posterity.Responding, Danjuma, who particularly was taken aback by the comments of the shareholders, said they should endeavour to visit the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for proper verification of the shareholding structure of the company.


“If you know as shareholders, you don’t have money to buy shares and you come to an Annual General Meeting like this, you should shut up,” he said.With this comments from the Chairma, there was stalemate at the meeting for close to 30 minutes, as shareholders refused to allow Danjuma continue with the proceedings of the meeting last Thursday.


Danjuma, who later apologised for his comments, said he did not intend to insult their persons but that he was only trying to make clarifications as to his holdings in the company.The company, for the year under review, posted a turnover of N4.60 million down from N5.44 million recorded in 2008. Profit after tax also decreased to N232.08 million from N417.96 million, while the shareholders fund fell to N2.75 million as against N2.71 million.    


On the outlook of the company, Danjuma said investors in the company would soon smile as the company is embarking on major drive to ensure they continue to rip huge dividend.He said though the economy impacted negatively on the company in the financial year being considered, the company’s new plant he said would soon to be inaugurated this year. This he said, would impact positively on the company’s bottomline.


In his response, Managing Director of the company, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, asked for shareholders’ understanding,  explaining that the drop in profit was as a result of the company’s investment in a  new factory that is expected to gulp about N3 billion on completion.He promised that production will start at the new ultra modern pharmaceutical plant by September 30, 2010, adding that this will boost the company’s bottom-line in the years ahead.







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