Investors in some of Nigeria’s major downstream companies, expecting a repeat of last year’s bumper performance, may have to cut short their expectations. Major petroleum marketers are the companies with the largest network of petrol stations in the country.
Half year results released by Total, Mobil, Oando and Conoil Plc show a decline in profit. Forte Oil had an increase in profit year on year but lower profits attributable to shareholders.
Un-audited half year results for Total Plc show profit before tax dropped massively from N12.9 billion in 2016 to N7.9 billion in 2017, due to a huge jump in finance cost. Finance costs rose from N278 million in 2016 to N1 billion in 2017.Earnings per share fell from N18 in 2016 to N5.70 in 2017.
Mobil (now 11 Plc) also had a decline in profit before tax from N6.5 billion to N3.6 billion, due to exceptional items relating to a change in its pension scheme. Earnings per share fell from N12.2 in 2016 to N6.86 in 2017. Conoil Plc’s H1 2017 revenue also dropped massively from N1.5 billion in 2016 to N627 billion in 2017 scheme. The drop was due to the absence of subsidy refunds which occurred in H1 2016. Earnings per share fell from N1.50 in 2016 to 0.62 kobo in 2017
Oando Plc made a loss of N839 million against a loss before tax of N17 billion in 2016, with earnings per share at negative 31 kobo. While Forte Oil saw an increase in profit before tax from N4.2 billion in 2016 to N4.9 billion in 2017, profits attributable to shareholders of the company dropped from N2.4 billion in 2016 to N1.4 billion in 2017. Earnings per share also dropped from N1.88 in 2016 to N1.05 in 2017.
H2 could be different
The challenges faced by some of the firms are temporary. Even though unlikely, there could be an increase in the pump price of petroleum products as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) currently imports most of the petroleum products in the country. The corporation has signalled that the burden is too heavy for it, as it operates at a loss. Forte plans to start the sale of its solar energy solutions in a few months and expects to get revenue by the fourth quarter of 2017.
Year to date, share prices of most of the companies are also down lagging behind the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index which is up 39.26%. Forte’s share price is down 28.5%, Conoil 2.88%, Mobil 16.85% and Total, 12.54%. Oando shares are however up 69% year to date.