The profit of multinational company Unilever Consumer Care Limited dropped by 46% to Tk52.93 crore in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Despite its lower profit, the company declared a 440% cash dividend for shareholders after its board of directors meeting on Sunday.
However in 2019, Unilever Consumer Care made Tk98.57 crore profit and declared 530% cash dividend.
The earnings per share (EPS) of the company stood at Tk43.94 last year, which was Tk81.83 a year ago.
Unilever Group acquired GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK) Bangladesh Limited in 2020 with a value of more than Tk2,000 crore and renamed it as Unilever Consumer Care. It is now a part of Unilever Group focusing on consumer healthcare nutrition business.
Masud Khan, chairman of the company, told The Business Standard that its sales in 2020 declined a bit due to supply disruption.
The Indian plant that caters the region with Horlicks raw material was shut due to Covid-19 in the second half of the year.
The Unilever Consumer Care in Bangladesh suffered raw material shortage for nearly three months since the beginning of September 2020. However, the problem is now over, said Masud.
He added that in the last budget the government increased import duty on the raw material of Horlicks by 10 percentage points that reduced the company's gross profit margin.
The company said the reduction in profit mainly resulted from lower sales caused by raw materials' supply shortage due to the pandemic, inflation of key raw materials' price and rise in duty on Dry Mix Ingredients (15%-25%) partly offset by savings from marketing and operating expenses.
It also said the annual general meeting of the company will be held on 29 April 2021 through a digital platform and record date will be 23 March.
According to the company financial statement, in the first nine months of 2020, the sales and profits of Unilever Consumer Care went down by 9.97% and 12.36% respectively compared to the same period in the previous year.
From January to September, its sales stood at Tk277.62 crore which was Tk308.38 crore in 2019. The profit stood at Tk45.83 crore, which is lower than Tk52.27 crore in 2019.
In the third quarter from July-September of 2020, the company sales decreased by 10.39% and net profit decreased by 44.73%.
In this quarter, the sales of Unilever Consumer Care stood at Tk94.17 crore and profit Tk14.07 crore, which was Tk105.10 crore and Tk25.46 crore respectively in the same time a year ago.
On 28 June 2020, Unilever Overseas Holdings BV acquired 82% share of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Bangladesh Ltd.
Unilever bought 98.75 lakh shares from Setfirst Ltd, a sister concern of GSK, through the block market with each share priced at Tk2,046.3 and the total value of the transaction stood at Tk2,020.75 crore.
In July last year, GlaxoSmithKline (Bangladesh) Ltd changed to Unilever Consumer Care Ltd and also switched to food and allied from pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
As of January 2021, out of the total shares of Unilever Consumer Care, its sponsors and directors hold 90.51%, institutional investors 5.15%, foreign investors 0.34% and general investors 4% shares.