Unilever Nigeria Plc has reported a 56 percent in its profit for the half year ended June 30, 2018 (H1) in the unaudited financial statement submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) obtained by our correspondent today.

The consumer goods manufacturing company announced N5.7 billion profit in the period under review from N3.7 billion reported in prior half year results.

The company’s growth in profit was driven by increase revenue and modest management of finance charges.

It recorded 12.9 per cent increase in revenue to N48 billion in H1 2018 from N42.6 billion in H1 2017 while operations charges dropped from N1.6 billion in H1 2017 to N169 million in H1 2018.

Total assets of the company grew in half year of 2018 to N130.7 billion, or eight per cent higher than the N121.08 billion reported in 2017 full year results.

It would be recalled that at the last Annual General Meeting (AGM), the company’s shareholders had approved the sale of its Spreads Sector (Blue Band margarine business and all assets attached to the business) to Sigma Bidco B.V, an entity incorporated by KKR & Co LP effective from July 1 this year.

The shareholders also ratified the payment of N2.87 billion dividends, translating to 50 kobo per share for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Addressing shareholders at the 93rd AGM, in Lagos, Unilever chairman, His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, said the Spreads sector is slowing down as consumers are turning away from margarine for healthier alternatives.

He noted that the decision to divest from the spread business is largely due to the desire by the company to boost shareholders’ return.

The royal father explained that Spreads Business has been under-performing globally, adding that the transaction will enable the company to focus more on other well-performing categories.

The company recorded 30 percent increase in turnover to N90.7 billion from N69.7 billion in 2016, while its profit after tax, rose to N7.45 billion from N3.07 billion, representing 143 per cent increase.