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Companies

Competition drags ABC Transport into the Abyss

ABC Transport’s recent financial records aren’t exactly impressive.

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At the end of NSE’s trading session on Friday, August 24th, the share price of ABC Transport Plc stood at 0.34 kobo. This is the lowest the stock has performed ever; a clear indication that investors are increasingly losing interest in the company.

Year to date, this stock has declined by 28.00%. Unfortunately, the company’s recent financial records aren’t exactly impressive either. So, why are all these happening? Well you guessed it…!

On that note, welcome to company focus this week. This is a column where we let you in on details about little-known and small securities that are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. ABC Transport Plc is our focus for today. So, get to know everything there is to know about its history, services, board of directors, financial records, and of course, the competition it faces.

Corporate Information about ABC Transport Plc 

Associated Bus Company Plc, also known as ABC Transport Plc, is a Nigerian transportation company with headquarters in Owerri, the Imo State capital. The company has been transporting passengers across Nigeria and West Africa since its incorporation in 1993, using its coach, sprinter and shuttle services.

The coach service entail long distance journeys in luxury buses. This is similar to the sprinter service, which equally covers long distances but with midi buses. The shuttle service, however, covers shorter distance journeys using mini buses.

Undoubtedly, ABC Transport Plc is one of the best road transport services providers in the country. Little wonder it brags about its services being in tandem with internationally-accepted standards and “specially designed for distinguished travelers who would otherwise use air service.”

Over the years, ABC Transport has continued to diversify its operations, expanding into such areas as cargo services, haulage services, importation/sale of vehicle spare parts, assembling of heavy-duty trucks, and installation of vehicle speed devices. It is also now involved in the hospitality business, with the operation of its City Transit Inn Hotel which is in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.

Note that the company initially started off as a subsidiary of Rapido Ventures. But by 2004, barely eleven years after its incorporation, it had already founded ABC Transport Ghana where it currently owns 99% stake. In the same vein, the company owns 50% equity stake in Transit Support Services Limited, its subsidiary that is involved in the trade of vehicle spare parts.

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The company became a quoted company in 2005.

Asides transportation, the company is also into the haulage business.

A look at the company’s target market

As a full-fledged road transportation company, ABC Transport Plc targets commuters of various classes. Specifically, it targets passengers traveling to and from major Nigerian cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Owerri. It also connects commuters to major ECOWAS hubs such as Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic.

In line with its road transportation business, the company’s City Transit Inn Hotel also provides hospitality services to commuters, especially those who enter the city of Abuja late in the night.

Meanwhile, the company’s cargo business serves Nigerians in general, helping to deliver small parcels and letters across the country. Similarly, the company also targets operators in the manufacturing sector with its haulage services which helps to transport heavy manufacturing materials across long distances.

One of such companies is United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited, which is a major customer accounting for 26% of ABC Groups’ entire annual revenue, according to information contained in its 2017 full year financial report.

Finally, the company targets vehicle owners by selling spare parts to them.

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Key members of the company’s Board of Directors 

Mr. Frank Nneji is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ABC Transport Plc. He is also the Chairman of ABC Express Courier Limited.  He studied Biological Sciences at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, graduating in 1982. He has since undergone studies at the Wharton Business School, USA, as well as the Lagos Business School, Nigeria.

Between 2000 and 2003, he served as the President of Owerri Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, otherwise known as OCCIMA. He was also a pioneer member of the Board of Nigeria’s Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA.

Mr. Nneji is an Honorary Fellow of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). He has received several awards and recognitions, including the prestigious Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

Asides Mr. Nneji, the Board of ABC Transport Plc is comprised of 5 more members: Mr Jude Nneji, Mr. Olumide-Obayomi, Mr. Kabiru Abdullahi Yusuf, Mr. Uche Ohimai-Ehimiaghe, and Mr. John Okoro. In total, the company comprises of about 1500 employees.

Security personnel screen on-boarding passengers at one of the company’s terminals.

But the company is faced with lots of competition…

Just like any other business, ABC Transport Plc has its share of competition. The competitors come in the form of state-owned road transportation companies such as Abia Line Transport and Imo State Transport Corporation. Others include Chisco Transport Ltd, Young Shall Grow Transport Ltd, GUO Motors and Cross Country.

But asides the above-mentioned companies, one road transport company that stands out as a major competition for ABC Transport Plc is GIGM Motors.  GIGM Motors, which has existed since 1996, recently rebranded and remodeled its business to be more technology-driven, efficient and classy. This has, in turn, attracted a lot of customers to it; especially commuters who had in the past patronised ABC Transport Plc due to its ‘exceptional services’.

As the competition stiffens, therefore, it is left to ABC Transport to devise new ways of differentiating itself from the pack. In the meantime, the competition is having its toll.

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The company’s financial overview

A look at the five-year financial reports (2013-2017) for ABC Transport (the company) shows that revenue began to decline in 2016. Note that this is around the same time GIGM Motors had just unveiled its rebranded and refocused business model.

The company’s (group) revenue for full year 2017 stood at N7.1 billion, against N6.7 billion recorded for it in 2016. Profit after tax for the group in 2017 was N513 million, compared to N599 million in 2016.

For its Q1 2018 result released earlier this year, reported revenue stood at N1.4 billion, compared to N1.7 billion reported for the same period in 2017. In the same vein, profit after tax was N65 million compared to N192 million reported for Q1 2017.

The company was yet to release its half year 2018 financial result as at time of preparing this article.

ABC Transport Plc’s road transportation business has not performed well in recent years. This can be due to competition in the sector, coupled with multiple taxation which unfortunately stifles profitability. Hopefully, the company can overcome its challenges and rebound in no time.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Appointments

Airtel Nigeria announces appointment of Surendran as new Chief Executive Officer

Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new MD/CEO with effect from August 1, 2021.

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Like MTN, is Airtel Nigeria considering listing?

Telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from August 1, 2021.

Surendran would be replacing the outgoing Managing Director and Chief Executive of Airtel Nigeria, Olusegun Ogunsanya, who has been elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc with effect from October 1, 2021.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by Airtel on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Lagos.

READ: Airtel Africa signs new $500 million loan with Bank of America, HSBC, others

The statement says that Surendran would also be appointed to the Executive Committee (ExCo) as Regional Operating Director, reporting to the CEO of Airtel Africa plc, and onto the Board of Airtel Networks (Nigeria) Limited.

Airtel in its statement said, “Surendran has been with Bharti Airtel since 2003 and has contributed immensely in various roles across customer experience, sales and business operations.

He was the Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka, which is the largest circle in Airtel India, with over one billion dollars in revenue.

Surendran delivered an exceptional performance with significant movement in Revenue Market Share (RMS) over the last few years, currently at 54 percent. He has over 30 years of business experience, including 15 years at Xerox.’’

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Airtel said that Surendran would transition into his new role from June 1, 2021, and spend the time onboarding into the business until July 31, 2021.

READ: Meet the latest billionaires on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

In case you missed it

It can be recalled that a few days ago, Airtel Africa Plc, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Nigeria and 13 other countries, announced the appointment of Mr Olusegun Ogunsanya as the new Chief Executive Officer, following the notice of retirement given by the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava, to the Board.

In the notification sent by Airtel Africa to the Nigerian Exchange, Ogunsanya is expected to join the board of Airtel Africa with effect from October 1, 2021.

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Companies

Our First Bank loan is being serviced, reduced by 30% in 2 years – Honeywell Group

The credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.

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Billionaire watch: Oba Otudeko’s stakes in Firstbank and Honeywell are worth N10.3 billion

The Honeywell Group has said that its loan with First Bank is being serviced as the conglomerate had reduced the facility by 30% in the last two and half years.

This was disclosed by the Group via a statement issued on Sunday and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the statement, the company and the bank have had a professional business relationship since 1975, which preceded the group’s investment in the bank over a decade later.

According to the Honeywell Group, the credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.

The Group further explained that following agreed terms, its facilities are adequately secured with First Bank with collaterals in place at over 170% of forced sales value and 230% at open market value.

It stated, “In 2015, First Bank under the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, drew our attention to a 2004 circular (BSD/9/2004) which requires that insider related facilities must not exceed 10% of paid-up share capital.

Based on this directive we subsequently entered negotiations with the bank to agree on an appropriate repayment structure and the final negotiated position was duly approved by the CBN.

In addition to the above, First Bank, on the directive of CBN, requested additional security in the form of FBN Holdings Plc shares held by the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr Oba Otudeko citing a 2001 circular. This was duly provided through an authorisation to place a lien on the shares.”

Honeywell Group has continued to meet all its obligations on its facilities with the bank according to agreed terms and has reduced its exposure by nearly 30% in 2.5 years. The facilities were charged at market rate and the bank continues to earn significant interest therefrom.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics had reported when the Central Bank of Nigeria directed Honeywell to fully repay its obligations to First Bank within 48 hours, warning that failure to do so would cause the CBN to take regulatory measures against the insider borrower and the bank.
  • The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, also served as Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc until he was asked by the apex bank to go along with other directors on Thursday.
  • The apex bank had noted in a letter last Wednesday that First Bank had yet to comply with regulatory directives on divesting its interest in Honeywell despite several reminders.
  • Also, the CBN asked First Bank to forward evidence involving the divestment of interest in Honeywell Flour Mills and Bharti Airtel Nigeria Ltd within 90 days.

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