UBA Capital out of the blues topped gainers list with a 9% pop as investors continued with profit seeking. The stock that was N1.29 just under a month ago closed trading today at N1.73 gaining 34% within the period. Today’s gain was however more remarkable as the 9% gain was perhaps its biggest one day gain this month if not this year. The volume was also high topping the list of most traded stock with over 64million units exchanging hands today. So what exactly is going on? We have a thesis
Recent results released by Zenith Bank and GTB has impressed the market providing a morale booster for equities. Most investors now believe things may not be as bad as previously thought. They also realise how undervalued some of these stocks currently are and so are taking positions in anticipation of another good result. Ironically, UBA Capital’s most recent results (9months) showed EPS dropped 34.8% to 28kobo.
UBA Capital, Africa Prudential, UBA and Transcorp all have common majority ownership in Hiers Holdings and Tony Elumelu. The quartet of stocks have all been posting gains in the last one week as investors take position in anticipation of any major announcements. Africa Prudential for example announced results yesterday followed by dividend announcement today. This must have sweetened the taste buds of investors, creating an appetite for other sister stocks.
UBA Capital last year declared dividend of 25kobo per share. That amount at yesterdays price represents an indicative gross dividend yield of 15.8%!! That is an astonishing return by dividend standards. So if by any means it repeats the same dividend then the current price of N1.73 still represents a 10% Gross yield. Rumors circulating suggest the company may pay between 20 kobo and 25 kobo which probably is what is driving the share price higher.
Buy, sell or hold?
In terms of Fundamentals, UBA Capital doesn’t just cut it for this writer. However, the dividend proposition being rumored makes the stock difficult to resist. Any entry below N1.9 probably has a short term upside of 15% as we do not see this stock rising above N2.2 in the next one month.
The Wisdom behind Jaiz Bank
Not only have these business magnates from the northern part of the country created something of an oligarchy, they also obtained the backing of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank.
The idea of taking out loans without interest rates as the future of banking might still sound as foreign as flying cars to many, but it is already in motion.
Currently, there are over 300 Islamic banks in over 51 countries, including the United States. In Nigeria, Jaiz bank stands at the forefront of this revolution. The bank was created out of the former Jaiz International Plc, which was set up in 2003/2004 as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to establish Nigeria’s first full-fledged Non-Interest Bank.
Jaiz and its unconventional Banking methods
With Islamic banking, there are two main peculiarities and none of them confer a bias on only members of the religion. The first is the sharing of profit and loss, and the other is the prohibition of the collection of interest as stipulated in Islamic law – otherwise regarded as “riba.”
Both concepts feed off each other in that to augment the lack of interest gains, equity participation is employed. In other words, the borrowing business will pay back the loan without interest and also give the bank a share of its profits.
Jaiz bank is the first non-interest (Islamic) bank operating in Nigeria. Being that Islamic banking is grounded in Sharia or Islamic principles and morals, the financial institution does not support businesses that could impact the society negatively.
So even as it finances business, and shares their risks and profits accordingly, it does not partner with businesses involved in betting, alcohol, and so on. Needless to say, their methods have served them well.
From being founded in 2003, to 2011 when it received a license from the CBN to operate as a regional bank, to its official commencement as Jaiz Bank Plc in 2012, the institution has expanded its services exponentially.
Today, the company is owned by over 26,000 shareholders who are spread over Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones and its balance sheet has grown from N12 billion in 2012 to about N62 billion, with asset financing of over N30 billion. The bank operates 27 branches and has a full service range of offerings.
The force behind
Behind the bank’s recorded success is a strong shareholder base, spread across one foreign shareholder, 108 Institutional, 220 Corporate, 26,157 Individuals, 156 Joint, 6 States and 106 Local Government shareholders.
However, seven major shareholders control a total of about 65% of the total share capital of the bank. They include: Dantata Aminu Alhassan having 5.24%, Altani Investment Limited with 7.47%, Dangote Industries Ltd wit 8.48%, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) with 8.50%, Indimi Muhammad with 9.28%, Dantata Inv’t & Sec. Ltd with 12.49%, and, former minister, Mutallab Umaru Abdul with the highest stake of 13.50%.
Not only have these business magnates from the northern part of the country created something of an oligarchy, they also obtained the backing of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank.
Whether or not the oligopoly poses a threat to the corporate governance and decision-making power of the rest of the bank’s shareholders is a question that can only be answered based on the happenings that arise.
The Managing Director of the bank, Hassan Usman, had however noted that “fundamental to the vision and mission of Jaiz Bank is to create wealth for MSMEs.” He also assured all that the bank is set to ensure maximum benefits is attained by all stakeholders.
Performance and Investment Outlook
The company has done well in building up funding to keep its operations afloat especially given its style of banking. Just last year, it had secured a N3 billion financing facility from the Bank of Industry (BOI) to boost and develop their operations and give zero-interest loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) within the country.
The company’s performance has also been noteworthy. In 2019, the company declared a profit after tax of N1.79 billion which was a 114% growth as compared to the N834.36 million recorded at the end of 2018.
The company is on a growth trajectory; currently, with its low share price of N0.66 on a 52 week average of 0.34 and 0.82, it is a convenient buy.
With a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.27, it shows good signs of growth. Its model might just be the thing to spur economic growth as its result-based gains will not just increase the income of the bank but also aid the growth of small businesses within the nation.
List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (June)
List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (June)
As audited accounts start to trickle in, companies will propose dividend payments to their shareholders as recommended by their respective boards of directors. It is also important to track these announcements to know who is eligible to collect the dividend, when it will be approved and when it will be paid. Dividend payment also affects share prices.
This page will be updated from time to time.
Date Announced – The date the company announced dividends evidenced by a corporate action published on the website of the NSE.
Qualification date – Shareholders who own shares as of this date will receive dividends. If you buy shares and want to receive dividends make sure it is at least three days before this date. Shares get transferred to you on the basis of the T+3 rule (the date you bought plus 3 working days).
Payment date – This is when the dividend will be paid to you, either via post (dividend warrants) or direct credit to your bank accounts (e-dividend).
Closure of Register – Only shareholders who own shares listed in their register before this date will be paid dividends.
You can also scroll sideways to view the rest of the columns if using a mobile phone.
READ MORE: How to read stock market tables
2020 Dividends from companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
|Company||DPS||Date Announced||Bonus||Closure of Register||AGM Date||Payment Date||Qualification date|
|Prestige Assurance Plc||Nil||4th June 2020||2 New shares for every 11 existing shares||22nd - 26th June 2020||30th June 2020||N/A||19th June 2020|
|Presco Plc||N2.00k||3rd June 2020||Nil||20th - 22nd July 2020||5th August 2020||7th August 2020||17th July 2020|
|Trans-Nationwide Express Plc||N0.03k||1st June 2020||Nil||6th - 10th July 2020||16th July 2020||20th July 2020||3rd July 2020|
|Nigeria Aviation Handling Company PLC||N0.30k||28th May 2020||Nil||1st - 3rd July 2020||16th July 2020||16th July 2020||30th June 2020|
|Skyway Aviation Handling Co. Plc||N0.16k||1st June 2020||Nil||17th - 23rd June 2020||30th June 2020||30th June 2020||16th June 2020|
|11 Plc||N8.25||28th May 2020||Nil||30th Sept - 5th Oct 2020||to be announced||to be announced||29th Sept 2020|
|Glaxo SmithKilne Consumer Nig. Plc||N0.55k||22nd May 2020||Nil||23rd June - 2nd July 2020||23rd July 2020||24th July 2020||22nd June 2020|
|Airtel Africa||0.03||13th May 2020||Nil||6th July 2020||Not applicable||24th July 2020||NA|
|Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc||N0.20k||22nd May 2020||Nil||16th June 2020||25th June 2020||25th June 2020||15th June 2020|
|Nigerian Breweries Plc (Revised)||N1.51k||20th May 2020||Nil||5th-11th March 2020||23rd June 2020||24th June 2020||4th March 2020|
|BUA Cement||N1.75k||19th May 2020||Nil||28th Sept - 2nd Oct 2020||22nd October 2020||23rd October 2020||25th September 2020|
|NASCON Allied Industries Plc||N0.40k||13th May 2020||Nil||15th - 16th July 2020||27th July 2020||29th July 2020||14th July 2020|
|Total Nigeria Plc||N6.71||13th May 2020||Nil||5th - 11th June 2020||to be announced||24hrs after meeting||4th June 2020|
|Cadbury Nigeria Plc||N0.49k||13th May 2020||Nil||25th - 29th May 2020||24th June 2020||25th June 2020||22nd May 2020|
|May and Baker Plc||N0.25k||13th May 2020||Nil||27th - 29th May 2020||4th June 2020||8th June 2020||26th May 2020|
|NPF Microfinance Bank Plc||N0.20k||11th May 2020||Nil||17th - 22nd June 2020||30th June 2020||30th June 2020||16th June 2020|
|Okomu Oil Palm Plc||N2.00||23rd April2020||Nil||19th - 22nd May 2020||28th May 2020||29th May 2020||18th May 2020|
|Lafarge Africa Plc||N1||27th April 2020||Nil||4th - 8th May 2020||3rd June 2020||3rd June 2020||30th April 2020|
|Wema Bank Plc||N0.04k||23rd April 2020||Nil||7th - 12th May 2020||18th May 2020||18th May 2020||6th May 2020|
|UAC of Nigeria Plc||N0.10k||20th April 2020||Nil||19th - 22nd May 2020||to be announced||to be announced||18th May 2020|
|Union bank of Nigeria||N0.25k||13th April 2020||Nil||27th - 30th April 2020||6th May 2020||6th May 2020||24th April 2020|
|FBN Holdings||N0.38k||6th April 2020||Nil||21st - 22nd April 2020||27th April 2020||28th April 2020||20th April 2020|
|Lafarge Africa Plc||N1.00k||6th April 2020||Nil||4th - 8th May 2020||26th May 2020||26th May 2020||30th April 2020|
|Ikeja Hotel Plc||N0.02||3rd April 2020||Nil||2nd - 8th July 2020||30th July 2020||7th August 2020||1st July 2020|
|McNichols Consolidated Plc||N0.03k||1st April 2020||Nil||2nd - 8th July 2020||30th July 2020||7th August 2020||1st July 2020|
|NEM Insurance||N0.15k||1st April 2020||Nil||4th - 8th May 2020||to be announced||to be announced||30th April 2020|
|FCMB Group Plc||N0.14k||31st March 2020||Nil||15th - 17th April 2020||28th April 2020||28th April 2020||14th April 2020|
|Beta Glass Nigeria Plc||N1.67k||30th March 2020||Nil||15th - 19th June 2020||2nd July 2020||3rd July 2020||11th June 2020|
|Capital Hotel Plc||N0.05k||26th March 2020||Nil||20th - 24th April 2020||27th May 2020||3rd June 2020||17th April 2020|
|Sterling bank Plc||N0.03k||26th March 2020||Nil||5th - 8th May 2020||20th May 2020||20th May 2020||4th May 2020|
|Boc Gases||N0.30k||26th March 2020||Nil||8th - 10th June 2020||25th June 2020||26th June 2020||5th June 2020|
|Fidelity Bank Plc||N0.20k||23rd March 2020||Nil||20th - 24th April 2020||30th April 2020||30th April 2020||17th April 2020|
|Seplat Petroleum Dev. Company Plc||0.05||23rd March 2020||Nil||13th May 2020||28th May 2020||4th June 2020||12th May 2020|
|Julius Berger Nig. Plc||N2.75k||13th March 2020||0.002||1st to 3rd June 2020||18th June 2020||19th June 2020||29th May 2020|
|Nigeria Energy Sector Fund (NESF)||N75.00||10th March 2020||Nil||20th March 2020||6th April 2020||19th March 2020|
|Access Bank Plc||N0.40k||6th March 2020||Nil||15th April 2020||30th April 2020||30th April 2020||14th April 2020|
|Nestle Nig Plc||N45.00k||28th February 2020||Nil||18th - 22nd May 2020||2nd June 2020||2nd July 2020||15th May 2020|
|Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc||N2.00||5th March 2020||Nil||19th - 26th March 2020||30th June 2020||18th June 2020||18th March 2020|
|Guaranty Trust Bank Plc||N2.50k||2nd March 2020||Nil||19th March 2020||30th March 2020||30th March 2020||18th March 2020|
|United Bank of Africa||N0.80k||2nd March 2020||Nil||16th - 20th March 2020||27th March 2020||27th March 2020||13th March 2020|
|Transcorp Plc||N0.01k||28th February 2020||Nil||18th - 23rd March 2020||25th March 2020||27th March 2020||17th March 2020|
|MTN Nigeria Plc||N4.97k||28th February 2020||Nil||February 17, 1900||8th May 2020||19th May 2020||17th april 2020|
|Transcorp Hotels Plc||N0.07k||28th February 2020||Nil||13th-17th March 2020||24th March 2020||26th March 2020||12th March 2020|
|United Capital PLC||N0.50k||18th February 2020||Nil||9th-13th March 2020||24th March 2020||26th March 2020||6th March 2020|
|Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank PLC||N0.035K||30th January 2020||Nil||9th-13th March 2020||7th May 2020||14th May 2020||6th March 2020|
|Zenith bank Plc||N2.50k||21st February 2020||Nil||10th March 2020||16th March 2020||16th March 2020||9th March 2020|
|Africa Prudential Plc||N0.70k||25th february 2020||Nil||9th-13th March 2020||23rd March 2020||23rd March 2020||6th March 2020|
|Dangote Cement Plc||N16.00||25th february 2020||Nil||26th May 2020||15th June 2020||16th June 2020||25th May 2020|
|Tripple Gee & Company Plc||N0.05k||8th July 2019||Nil||2nd-6th September 2019||16th September 2019||28th September 2019||30th August 2019|
|Presco Plc||N2.00||6th June 2019||Nil||8th-10th July 2019||24th July 2019||29th July 2019||5th July 2019|
|C & I Leasing Plc||N0.075||25th June 2019||Nil||15th-19th July 2019||30th July 2019||31st July 2019||12th July 2019|
|NPF Microfinance Bank Plc||N0.05||25th June 2019||Nil||8th-12th July 2019||25th July 2019||25th July 2019||5th July 2019|
|Learn Africa Plc||N0.15k||2nd July 2019||Nil||23rd-27th September 2019||17th October 2019||18th October 2019||20th September 2019|
|Academy Press Plc||N0.05k||1st Juky 2019||Nil||5th-9th August 2019||19th September 2019||26th September 2019||2nd August 2019|
|University Press Plc||N0.15k||1st July 2019||Nil||2nd-6th September 2019||26th September 2019||26th September 2019||30th August 2019|
|Redstar Express Plc||N0.43k||2nd July 2019||Nil||17th-19th July 2019||8th August 2019||16th July 2019|
|Veitva Griffin 30 Plc||N0.27||Nil||N/A||N/A||31st May 2019|
|Vetiva S&P Nig. Sovereign Bond ETF||N13.00||Nil||31st May 2019||N/A||7th June 2019|
|Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc||N0.02||9th May 2019||Nil||3rd - 7th June 2019||25th June 2019||26th June 2019||31st May 2019|
|NEM Insurance||N0.13||30th April 2019||Nil||3rd - 7th June 2019||25th June 2019||25th June 2019||31st May 2019|
|Forte Oil||N1.15||3rd June 2019||Nil||4th - 7th June 2019||N/A||10th june 2019||3rd June 2019|
|Smart Products||N0.15||30th April 2019||Nil||1st - 5th July 2019||29th August 2019||5th Septemner 2019||28th June 2019|
|AIICO Insurance Plc||N0.06||16th April 2019||Nil||10th - 17th May 2019||20th May 2019||20th May 2019||May 9 2019|
|Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc||N0.02||23rd April 2019||Nil||7th - 13th March 2019||to be announced||to be announced||6th May 2019|
|FBN Holdings||N0.26||12th April 2019||Nil||24th - 29th April 2019||3rd May 2019||6th May 2019||22nd|
|Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund||N28.00||Nil||N/A||N/A||12th April 2019|
|Nigerian Aviation Handling Coy Plc||N0.25||17th April 2019||Nil||9th - 11th July 2019||26th July 2019||26th July 2019||8th July 2019|
|Prestige Assurance Plc||N0.03||17th April 2019||Nil||6th - 10th May 2019||to be announced||to be announced||3rd May 2019|
|Regency Alliance Insurance Plc||N0.03||15th April 2019||Nil||13th - 17th May 2019||18th June 2019||19th June 2019||10th May 2019|
|Cement Coy. Of Northern Nig. Plc||N0.40||29th March 2019||Nil||2nd - 8th July 2019||25th July 2019||26th July 2019||1st July 2019|
|Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc||N1.10||4th April 2019||Nil||3rd - 5th June 2019||18th June 2019||19th June 2019||31st May 2019|
|The Initiates Plc||N0.05||2nd April 2019||Nil||3rd - 7th June 2019||to be announced||to be announced||31st May 2019|
|Aluminium Extrusion Ind. Plc||N0.085||26th March 2019||Nil||17th - 21st June 2019||to be announced||to be announced||14th June 2019|
|Beta Glass Nigeria Plc||N1.30||29th March 2019||Nil||17th - 21st June 2019||4th July 2019||5th July 2019||14th June 2019|
|UAC of Nigeria Plc||N0.64||29th March 2019||Nil||21st - 24th May 2019||26th June 2019||27th June 2019||20th May 2019|
|Okomu Oil Palm Plc||N3.00||27th March 2019||Nil||14th - 17th May 2019||13th June 2019||20th June 2019||13th May 2019|
|Wema Bank Plc||N0.03||29th March 2019||Nil||29th April - 6th May 2019||8th May 2019||13th May 2019||26th April 2019|
|Berger Paints Plc||N0.65||19th March 2019||Nil||29th April - 3rd May 2019||23rd May 2019||24th May 2019||26th April 2019|
|Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc||N0.25||29th March 2019||Nil||8th May 2019||21st May 2019||24th May 2019||7th May 2019|
|Eterna Plc||N0.25||29th March 2019||Nil||14th - 17th May 2019||13th June 2019||14th June 2019||13th May 2019|
|Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc||N0.03||29th March 2019||Nil||25th April - 9th May 2019||16th May 2019||23rd May 2019||24th April 2019|
|CAP Plc||N2.50||29th March 2019||Nil||27th - 31st May 2019||20th June 2019||21st June 2019||24th May 2019|
|Portland Paints and Products Nig. Plc||N0.05||28th March 2019||Nil||6th - 10th May 2019||30th May 2019||31st May 2019||3rd May 2019|
|Glaxo SmithKilne Consumer Nig. Plc||N0.05||8th March 2019||Nil||24th April - 6th May 2019||23rd May 2019||24th May 2019||22nd April 2019|
|Chams Plc||N0.03||4th April 2019||Nil||18th - 24th April 2019||to be announced||to be announced||17th April 2019|
|Fidson Healthcare Plc||N0.15||3rd April 2019||Nil||18th - 24th April 2019||to be announced||to be announced||17th April 2019|
|Capital Hotel Plc||N0.05||2nd April 2019||Nil||24th - 29th April 2019||April 22, 2000||9th May 2019||23rd April 2019|
|May and Baker Plc||N0.20||29th March 2019||Nil||23rd - 26th April 2019||30th May 2019||3rd June 2019||18th April 2019|
|Unilever of Nigeria Plc||N1.50||29th March 2019||Nil||15th - 23rd April 2019||9th May 2019||10th May 2019||12th April 2019|
|Total Nigeria Plc||N14.00||28th March 2019||Nil||23rd - 29th April 2019||27th June 2019||28th June 2019||18th April 2019|
|FCMB Group Plc||N0.14||29th March 2019||Nil||12th - 18th April 2019||26th April 2019||29th April 2019||11th April 2019|
|Fidelity Bank Plc||N0.11||29th March 2019||Nil||15th - 19th April 2019||26th April 2019||26th April 2019||12th April 2019|
|Custodian Investment Plc||N0.35||21st March 2019||Nil||12th - 17th April 2019||24th April 2019||24th April 2019||11th April 2019|
|11 Plc||N8.25||22nd March||Nil||3rd - 10th May 2019||16th May 2019||17th May 2019||2nd May 2019|
|NASCON Allied Industries Plc||N1.00||22nd March 2019||Nil||31st May - 3rd June 2019||13th June 2019||17th June 2019||30th May 2019|
|Cadbury Nig. Plc||N0.25||21st March 2019||Nil||20th - 24th May 2019||18th June 2019||19th June 2019||17th May 2019|
|Julius Berger Nig. Plc||N2.00||21st March 2019||Nil||3rd - 7th June 2019||20th June 2019||21st June 2019||31st May 2019|
|UBA Plc||N0.65||15th March 2019||Nil||3rd - 9th April 2019||23rd April 2019||23rd April 2019||2nd April 2019|
|Access Bank Plc||N0.25k||14th March 2019||Nil||12th April 2019||25th April 2019||25th April 2019||11th April 2019|
|Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc||N1.50k||7th March 2019||Nil||21st March 2019||19th June 2019||20th June 2019||20th March 2019|
|Guaranty Trust Bank Plc||N2.45||6th March 2019||Nil||9th April 2019||18th April 2019||18th April 2019||8th April 2019|
|Seplat Petroleum Dev. Company Plc||US$0.05||6th March 2019||Nil||21st March 2019||16th May 2019||23rd May 2019||20th March 2019|
|Nestle Nig Plc||N38.50k||4th March 2019||Nil||13th - 17th May 2019||28th May 2019||29th May 2019||10th May 2019|
|McNichols Consolidated Plc||N0.05k||1st March 2019||Nil||9th - 15th April 2019||16th April 2019||26th April 2019||8th April 2019|
|Dangote Cement||N16.00||28th February 2019||Nil||4th - 10th June 2019||17th June 2019||18th June 2019||3rd June 2019|
|Africa Prudential Plc||N0.50k||26th February 2019||Nil||14th - 20th March 2019||26th March 2019||26th March 2019||13th March 2019|
|United Capital Plc||30kobo||21st February 2019||Nil||14th - 20th March 2019||28th March 2019||2nd April 2019||13th March 2019|
|Zenith Bank Plc||N2.50||19th February 2019||Nil||11th - 15th March 2019||18th March 2019||18th March 2019||8th March 2019|
|Transnational Corp. of Nig. Plc||3k||18th February 2019||Nil||1st - 5th March 2019||15th March 2019||19th March 2019||28th February 2019|
|Nigerian Breweries Plc||N1.83K||18th February 2019||Nil||7th - 13th March 2019||17th May 2019||20th May 2019||6th March 2019|
|Transcorp Hotel||15k||15th February 2019||Nil||28th February - 1 March 2019||15th March 2019||19th March 2019||27th February 2019|
|Newrest ASL NIG Plc||20k||Nil||29th April - 3rd May 2019||15th May 2019||16th May 2019|
|SIAML Pension ETF 40||N1.17||Nil||25th January 2019||N/A||28TH January 2019|
Analysis: Is this a Lafarge rebirth?
Lafarge Africa Plc, one of the biggest building and concrete solutions companies in the world’s three biggest Achilles’ heels.
Lafarge Africa Plc, a unit of LafargecHolcim Group – one of the biggest building and concrete solutions companies in the world, has had a pretty long run in the construction sector. With projected growth in urbanization and inevitable population expansion, the leading producer of building materials and construction solutions has its stake in the huge Nigerian housing market. The company had served customers in Nigeria and South Africa (now discontinued) for decades, their customer base cutting across individuals requiring small building projects to major construction and infrastructure projects. All of these do well to place the company as an active participant in the economic growth of Africa.
Yet, so much has plagued the company in the past few years, curtailing its success with avoidable losses and below-par profits. While it, no doubt, has a series of challenges to worry about – like most organizations – three of its biggest Achilles’ heels had been its failing South African operations, its incessant changes in its corporate leadership, and of course, the one pandemic threatening to rip the global economy to shreds – COVID-19.
Lafarge South Africa
The company’s experience with its South African subsidiary gives credence to the phrase, “If anything is not serving you well, cut it off.” After years of dragging the African cement-maker down, the subsidiary was eventually spun off in July last year – not before it incurred a final loss of N3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019. It was only after, when Lafarge restated its accounts by adjusting figures from the discontinued operations from its books, that the company set off on a positive growth trajectory.
Following the sale of Lafarge South Africa Holdings (LSAH) in Q3, there was a remarkable improvement in gross and operating margins, clearly showing that the sale of LSAH was valued accretive to shareholders. For one, the total debt reduced drastically. Short term loans and long term loans also had a drop of 79% and 75% respectively in comparison with the first quarter of last year. Other financial assets increased significantly from N1.7 billion in 2019 to N4.8 billion in Q1 2020. Also resulting from the sale was the increase in EPS from Q1 2019 of 0.36 to Q1 2020 of 0.93.
Khaled El Dokani, CCEO of Lafarge Africa had stated, “Our turnaround and cost-reduction strategy in FY 2019 and the divestment of the South African business, have delivered strong results. The decrease in net debt has significantly strengthened our balance sheet and has placed us in a vantage position to face the future.”
Its Changing Leadership
In 2018 alone, the firm appointed four directors in the space of three months. 9 months ago, in September, former CFO of Lafarge Africa Plc., Bruno Bayet, resigned. Just a month later, the board had announced the appointment of Lolu Alade Akinyemi as the new CFO. Next, the group CEO, Michel Puchercos, also resigned leaving Khaled Abdelaziz El Dokani in charge. Even amidst the challenges of 2020, Jean-Philippe Benard resigned from being a Non-Executive Director in January 2020 and by April, the retirement of two Non-Executive Directors was announced, as well as the appointment of three new directors. The high turnover of its leadership means one (or both) of two things. The first is the possibility that there could be more than meets the eyes within the company and the second is the truth that the newer leadership will need time to adjust to the company’s operations before the wins.
Just when things started looking up, COVID-19 came with all its challenges and it didn’t help that the first carrier of the virus – an Italian man, had been visiting Lafarge Africa’s factory in Ogun State. The loss in the demand for cement with the stalled construction activities will pose an additional challenge for the organization. In the performance summary released alongside the financials, the company had noted that the pandemic “will adversely affect the company’s results in Q2, 2020.” This is also coupled with the burgeoning competitive landscape with bigger brands like BUA and Dangote owning larger market shares.
While the company seems to be moving in the right direction, it might take a while for things to pick up. At its current price of N11.65 juxtaposed with its indicative dividend yield of 8.58%, the company could serve as an easy buy capable of yielding dividend income while investors wait patiently and hopefully for its wins to come.