Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc said it plans to unveil a N2.5 billion oil palm mill which would be one of the largest plants in Africa before the end of the year.
The new facility would be fitted with the newest technology with tilting steriliser and is expected to increase its milling capacity 30t/hr to 60t/hr.
Chairman of the company, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, said it would cost the firm which specializes in crude oil palm and rubber production about N8 billion to carry out on-going and future expansion programmes within the next four years.
Speaking in Abuja at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where Shareholders also approved the expansion drive including about N1 billion dividend pay-outs which translated to N1 per share, Oyebode said it hoped to unlock greater returns to shareholders through the growth plan in the near future.
However, he said a 12 per cent decline in crude palm oil prices in the period under review (2013) caused a 13 per cent drop in total palm oil revenue which stood at N5.62 billion.
He said Profits on continuing operations for palm products also declined by 41 per cent to N1.32 billion compared to N2.26 billion in 2012.
The chairman also bemoaned a 17 per cent global Rubber price drop which lowered its revenue by 13 per cent to N3.23 billion in 2013.
He said the company however, recorded a combined turnover of N8.86 billion compared to N10.1 billion the previous year.
Its net profit stood at N2.09 billion which was 42 per cent lower than the figure in 2012.
He said: “The operating environment in 2013, especially for agro-processing companies like ours was not an easy one. All commodity prices including that of rubber and oil palm continued to decline significantly in 2013, just as was the case in 2012.”
But he said “while prospects may not currently seem too optimistic, your board feels that there is still underlying potentials for development of the company within Nigeria and opportunities are there to our shareholders that can effect better returns to them in the future.”