Image courtesy of FLOUR MILLS OF NIGERIA

Driven by sustained demand across all its business segments, including during the fourth quarter, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC (FMN) group operating revenue grew to NGN2.3 trillion ($1.54 billion) for the fiscal year 2024 ended March 31, up 49% from NGN1.5 trillion the previous year.

Gross profit increased by 54% to NGN272 billion, reflecting effective portfolio management product innovations, pricing and cost optimization measures leading to 61% growth in operating profit to N208 billion, said FMN, the country’s leading food and agro-allied company and its largest flour miller. After foreign currency exchange adjustments and taxes, profits were NGN3.5 billion in fiscal 2024, down 88% from NGN29.5 billion the previous year.

FMN’s performance was underpinned by strong revenue growth from Food, Agro-Allied, Sugar, and Support services segments. The Food segment recorded a 51% increase in revenue to NGN1.5 trillion, driven by new product launches and category flavor extensions.

The Agro-Allied segment also increased revenue 17% to NGN332 billion and profit before tax by 4% to NGN14.3 billion. The segment's success was driven by larger export volumes, moderate price adjustments, and the introduction of new products in the Fertilizer business.

FMN noted the oil and fats business saw a 9% revenue increase, with export revenue soaring by 138%. The animal feeds business experienced significant growth, with revenue and profits before tax increasing by 23% and 310%, respectively, following strengthened distributor partnerships, farmer training programs, and enhanced customer and credit support.

“Our consistent execution and growth underscores FMN’s financial and operational resilience,” said Boye Olusanya, group managing director/chief executive officer of FMN. “Despite the challenging economic environment, we have solidified our position as a market leader in the Food and Agro-allied sector, driven by innovative product offerings and efficient operations.”

A strong fourth quarter, including the acquisition of Port Harcourt Mills, helped to drive the full-year results, with a 72% increase in revenue, reaching NGN732.4 billion for the three months ended March 31, compared to NGN426 billion the previous year.

In the fourth quarter, the Food segment recorded revenue of N470 billion, up 70% year-on-year, with a profit before tax of NGN7.8 billion, down from NGN21.8 billion, under pressure from increased energy costs and foreign exchange market volatility. Agro-Allied revenue was NGN97.7 billion, a 49% increase, but profit was down 5% at NGN4.3 billion.

Looking ahead, FMN foresees challenging macroeconomic headwinds persisting over much of 2024-25. The company said it will pursue new strategic partnerships and collaborations to drive innovation, expand product offerings and expand into high-growth markets within Africa, leveraging its brands and distribution network.

“We will continue to drive down the debt to optimize our capital structure and reduce financing costs, to further improve profitability and deliver long-term value to our shareholders,” FMN said. “We have a strong pipeline of innovative products set to launch, tailored to meet the changing consumer demands, support mixed volume growth and drive higher margins.”