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.

The company became a quoted company in 2005.

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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.

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.

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.

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