By Peter Egwuatu
Despite the challenges in the operating environment, May & Baker Nigeria Plc has been able to weather the storm in the last decade as it is now in a strong liquidity position following its proactive measures in sourcing long term credit facilities as well accessing the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, intervention facilities among others.
The Managing Director/CEO, Mr Nnamdi Okafor disclosed this at a media luncheon in Lagos. saying:â€œ Taking over fromÂ a company a decade ago whenÂ Profit Before Tax, PBT was barely a third of a billion naira and to triple this to becoming a billion naira-profit company, doubling the balance sheet size from N7billion to N14 billion and doubling shareholdersâ€™ equity from N3billon to N6billion were not an easy task.â€
Continuing, he said: We also doubled revenues by 100 per cent during this period and growing the business by investing in key infrastructure, research and innovation.â€
Okafor, disclosed that having worked for 35 years and of which 10 years was as the managing director, he would be exiting May & Baker and Pharm. Patrick Ajah would be taking over from January 2021.
While narrating his achievement with the company, Okafor said: â€œ We turnaround the cash flow of the company which was in dire straits at the beginning of my tenure. Net cash flow which was consistently negative in the first five years due to high debts from banks was turned around in the second half of my tenure having paid off the banks and all short-term debts, injecting fresh equity capital through rights issue and accessing longer-term, low-cost debts from CBN intervention facilities.
This has put the company on a solid liquidity position with adequate funds for future growth and expansion.â€
Continuing, he said: â€œAt a time that industry headwinds and macroeconomic challenges were forcing several healthcare companies to downsize operations, we implemented major strategic plans that not only saw May & Baker Nigeria receiving the coveted World Health Organization (WHO)â€™s certification of global standards in manufacturing practices (WHO cGMP) for its pharmaceutical manufacturing complex (PharmaCentre) in Ota, Ogun State, but also becoming manufacturing partner for global pharmaceutical companies. The multi-billion naira PharmaCentre, which was commissioned in 2011, was certified with the WHOâ€™s cGMP in 2014.â€
â€œBesides annual thunderous applause from excited shareholders, many stakeholders had noted and awarded May & Baker honours for its efforts including the Award of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research and Development by the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA). It also received Award for High Quality and Safety in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing from the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); and in 2018 it received the presidential National Productivity awardâ€ he added.