Nigerian employees of of Nestle Plc are worried over recent comments by Cornel Krummenecher, Nestle’s chief executive for equatorial Africa region in which he said many staffs in the region will be sacked.
Last week in an interview with the Financial Times Krummenecher said, “We thought this would be the next Asia, but we have realized the middle class here in the region is extremely small and it is not really growing,” Krummenecher disclosed rather disappointedly hinging the jub cut on poor results of theorganisation’s operations in tyhe region.
A look at the company’s performance in the capital market has not been encouraging.
With an opening price of N1,011.75 on the first trading day in January, the stock closed N850.07 on Friday June 12, a loss of N161.68 representing 16 percent.
At its last Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos last month, shareholders registered their displeasure at the poor performance of the company in 2014 business year. The company recorded a marginal increase in Turnover of N143.32 billion in 2014 as against N133.0 in the previous year. Profit Before Tax (PBT) dropped from N26.04 in 2013 to N24.44 in 2014; similarly Net Assets for 2014 was N35.93 billion against N40.59 billion in the previous.
” A member of staff who also volunteered to speak unofficially at the Ilupeju (Lagos) office of the company Friday, was emphatic that a “significant chunk” of the company’s employees will be laid off, not only casuals but permanent employees.
According to him, the company has been passing through a lot of operating challenges which affected some of the welfare it used to extend to the staff.
“Everybody is afraid, when the Whiteman says he will sack, he means it,” the senior employee said in a tone of worry. Some distributors of the company approached refused to comment on the matter; they would not respond on enquiries regarding the flow of the company’s products.