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Blurb

The NSE’s only listed fast food company has been struggling

Tantalizers Plc is a Nigerian fast food company which has more than sixty outlets located across major cities in the country.

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Tantalizers Plc

For many Nigerian professionals in Lagos and elsewhere, fast food restaurants have long been the go-to places for quick meals, especially during lunch hours. Reasons for this aren’t far-fetched – it is fast food, just as it is trendy. Across the country, countless numbers of such fast food restaurants are located on major street corners. But out of the many, only a handful have become somewhat like franchises. A typical example of such is Tantalizers Plc, which also happens to be the only fast food company that is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Come to think of it, when was the last time you dined at a Tantalizers’ outlet? Was it last weekend, or maybe the weekend before? Chances are that you might be right inside a Tantalizers’ outlet right now, eating your favourite meal as you read this article. But did you ever know, prior to this time, that the company’s shares are traded on the NSE? Maybe or maybe not.

By now, you probably already guessed that Tantalizers Plc is Nairametrics’ company focus for this week. And as always, we have aggregated the most important corporate details about the company, just so you can be better informed when making your investment decisions. Therefore, get to know more about Tantalizers Plc, its history, business model, information about its stock, growing competition, financial performance, etc.

Corporate overview of Tantalizers Plc

Incorporated in 1997, Tantalizers Plc is a Nigerian fast food company which has more than sixty outlets located across major cities in the country. Information available on the company’s website claims that since its incorporation, the company “has set and maintained high quality and excellent service standards in the Quick Service Restaurant business”. The company further claims to have pioneered the inclusion of local Nigerian cuisines in the fast food market, a business model that has since been adopted and modified by some of its competitors such as The Place.

Tantalizers serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Mondays through to Sundays. Examples of the meals it serves include: jollof/fried rice, swallows with assorted soups, ice cream, bread, pastries, and even Chinese food.

In the past 22 years since the company’s incorporation, a lot has happened. There have been meaningful expansion, in terms of the number of new outlets opened. It even became a quoted company, with its shares listed on the NSE. It is, however, important to note that Tantalizers is a small-cap stock, with market capitalisation valued at just N642,325,581.40. The share price has for long remained at N0.20.

The company’s target market

Virtually all the fast food companies in Nigeria, including Tantalizers, initially started out by targeting the so called middle class. People within this group were seen as having the disposable income that enabled them to eat out. But over the years, Tantalizers has been able to redefine its target market which is now mostly comprised of young, single, professionals as well as students. A visit to any Tantalizers outlet can confirm this, especially in the evening when a lot of them are either hanging out with friends or on dates with potential lovers.

A look at the company’s competition

As earlier mentioned, the Nigerian fast food market is saturated with competition. As a matter of fact, a research by the Oxford Business Group found that there are over 800 quick service restaurants across Nigeria, all of which combine to generate an average annual revenue of N200 billion. However, out of this total, only a handful are actually in the same league as Tantalizers. Examples of these fast food restaurants include: Mr Biggs, Tasty Fried Chicken, Chicken Republic, Mama Cass, Sweet Sensation, Tastee, The Place, etc.

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Note that Tantalizers Plc is the only quick service restaurant that is listed on the NSE. As such, it is a bit difficult to compare their financial strengths/performances, seeing as private companies do not readily disclose such information to the public. With this in mind, the comparison between these companies has been primarily based on how satisfactory the services they offer are. And in all fairness, each and everyone of them has one thing or the other that is unique about them; hence, the reason why they are still in business. However, it is important to mention that newer companies such as The Place, are revolutionalising the market.

These are members of the company’s board of directors

Mrs Abosede Ayeni is the Founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Tantalizers Plc. She is an alumnus of the University of Ife, graduating in 1979 with a B.A in Language Arts. In 2006, she bagged a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Pan African University. Prior to starting Tantalizers in 1997, she worked in Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited, and Senkay Nigeria Limited.

Other members of the company’s board include the Deputy Managing Director, the Executive Director in charge of Finance, Mr Gholahan Labinjo, Mr Bamidele Oke, and the General Manager, Mr Segun Ekundayo. Others are: Mr Henry Arebun, Mr Emmanuel Onyoh, Mrs Bamidele Dambo, and Mrs Folawe Adewaku.

A brief review of the company’s financial performance

Tantalizers Plc has recently been struggling to remain profitable, judging by disclosures made in its financial statements dating back to 2013. As a matter of fact, the company consecutively ran at a loss between 2013 and 2016, until 2017 when it recorded a profit after tax of N443.3 million. Sadly enough, the company’s unaudited third quarter 2018 result shows that it ran at a loss of N213.5 million compared to a profit after tax of N760 million recorded for the same period in 2017. This points to the possibility of the company declaring yet another loss for 2018.

The probable way forward for Tantalizers Plc

Considering the growing competition in the market, the management/board of Tantalizers Plc really needs to devise new ways to shore up market share. For one, it may consider opening up more outlets, especially in the south eastern part of the country where its presence is almost non-existent. The company should also intensify its marketing strategy in order to reach new customers whilst retaining old ones.

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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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. teslimthebravest

    February 1, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    How do you advise a company that has been making losses to open new branches? Isnt it better to close down some in other to become operational efficient?

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Blurb

Secret behind MTN’s blistering performance

Despite COVID-19 disruptions, MTN Nigeria’s 2020 financials showed marked improvements compared to its 2019-year-end.

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NCC, MTN’s parent company faults regulator’s recommendation for data price reduction, MTN Nigeria reacts to poor internet as network issues go beyond Nigeria 

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) released its audited financial results for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.

Despite a challenging 2020 to individuals and businesses caused by COVID-19 disruptions, MTN Nigeria’s financial and non-financial information showed marked improvements compared to its 2019-year-end as well as prior quarters of 2020 results that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, the evolving pandemic which intensified lockdown, remote working, and work-from-home procedures, appeared to have led to increased adoption of MTN Nigeria data and digital services.

Specifically, year-on-year on non-financial information, mobile subscribers increased by 12.2 million to 76.5 million; active data users increased by 7.4 million to 32,6 million while the company’s mobile money business continued to accelerate with a 269.2 % increase in the number of registered agents to over 395,000 and 4.7 million active subscribers from approximately 553,000 in 2019.

Year-on-year on financial information, service revenue increased by 14.7 % to NGN1.3 trillion driven principally by voice (with revenue growth of 5.9 %) and data revenues (rising by 52.2 % led by increased data use and traffic); profit before tax (PBT) grew by 2.6 % to N298.9 billion; profit after tax (PAT) increased by 0.9 % to N205.21 billion; while Earnings per share (EPS) rose by 0.9 % to N10.1 (N9.93, 2019).

Nonetheless, significant increases were noted in its operating expenditure as well as capital expenditure. First, there was a 2.3 % increase in operating expenses arising from the rollout of new sites and the impact of naira currency depreciation affecting the costs of MTN Nigeria lease contracts. Secondly, EBITDA margin declined by 2.5 %age points to 50.9 % (from 53.4 % in 2019) There were also other significant cost rises including a 25.4 % increase in net finance cost, and 19.4 % increase in capital expenditure which had a 11.7 % knock-on increase in depreciation and amortization costs.

On the back of the year-end result, MTN Nigeria has proposed a final dividend per share (DPS) of N5.90 kobo per share to be paid out of distributable income and brings the total dividend for the year to N9.40 kobo per share, representing an increase of 18.7 %. MTN Nigeria paid N4.97 as final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2019. This was in addition to an interim dividend of N2.95, which brought its total 2019 dividend to N7.92 per share.

The proposed dividend implies a yield of 3.4%. Having paid an interim dividend of NGN3.50 in 2020, the proposed dividend, if approved, will bring the total dividend per share to NGN9.40 or c.19% higher compared with 2019.  We expect a positive reaction from the market due to the marked improvement in earnings. However, the market’s reaction may be dampened by negative investor sentiments on equities arising from the uptick in yields on fixed-income securities.

We expect that the introduction of additional customer registration requirements requiring subscriber records are updated with respective National Identity Numbers (NIN), and the continued suspension of the sale and activation of new SIM cards will affect subscriber growth.

MTNN share price remains unchanged at the end of trading yesterday at N174 per share.


 

Tade Fadare PhD, is an economist, and a professionally qualified accountant, banker and stockbroker. He has significant experience working or consulting for financial institutions in Europe, North America, and Africa.

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How does a bank make N19 billion a month?

The strategy for banks globally is to attract deposits at a lower rate than it lends out to borrowers.

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How does a Financial Services Group make N19b a month, post a Profit After Tax figure of N230b in an environment where global commerce virtually ground to a halt in 2020?

The Zenith Bank Plc (Zenith) Year-end 2020 final results are a blockbuster, not just in the quantitative, but the qualitative as well. In all major headline numbers, Zenith posted growth on a Year-on-Year basis, specifically, Gross Earnings are up 5.2%, Net Interest Income up 12%, Customer deposits up 15.3%.

Somehow Zenith grew her loan book by 18% in a recession and reduced the volume of Non-Performing Loans in the same period. Zenith was also able to post a higher revenue number from non-interest income even as yields on fixed-income fell across Nigeria. I must stress, Zenith has posted these results by servicing her target segment of the high-end corporates in Nigeria.

READ: Union Bank Nigeria Plc posts N15.9 billion profit in 9M 2020, up by 2%

So how did Zenith achieve this? I want to do a deep dive into how to make profits in a recession. However, it is important to start with a background on how banks make money which is basically in two ways;

  • Interest income: which is income generated from the bank gathering deposits from customers and investors and “renting” out these funds to individuals and corporates for a fee called interest. Interest Income is seen as the main business of banks. It is a measure of how well the bank has fine-tuned its people, process, and systems to generate returns from a commodity called cash.
  • Non-Interest Income: This is the income the bank generates from deploying its brands and people to juice revenues from activities that do not necessitate a transfer of cash. For Example, a bank asset management business leverages the bank’s skillsets to earn fees by providing investment advice to clients. Does a business want to expand? The bank can advise on the process to make that happen.

READ: Zenith Bank spends N20 billion on IT in 2020, up 122%

The strategy for banks globally is to attract deposits at a lower rate than it lends out to borrowers. This allows the bank generate a spread between cost and revenue. The bank’s interest spread can be magnified by the number of quality loans it creates as Interest Income rests also on the quality of the loan book. Positive spread drives the funding of other banking services and is supported by the banks internal competencies to manage risk

So a bank makes profits by

  1. Attracting cheap deposits
  2. Earning positive spread
  3. Providing value addition for a fee
  4. Effective Risk Management

All these have to happen simultaneously. A bank that sources expensive deposits by paying higher rates generates a lower spread. Lower spread exposes the bank to cost overruns and will prove fatal to long-term growth.

READ: Zenith USSD banking transaction value rises by 30.8% Y-o-Y to hit N497.29 billion

With this in mind, let’s review Zenith FY 2020 Performance

  • Attracting Cheap Deposits: In 2019, Zenith’s total interest expense, which represents how much it paid to get deposits was N148b, that figure dropped in 2020 to N121b. this means the bank was able to grow deposits by 25% but at a lower cost. How? Zenith changed her deposit mix, reducing borrowed funds/leases and time deposits by 41% and 38% respectfully and increasing the share of current accounts by 155%. By swapping the deposit mix, the bank’s cost of funds ratio fell by 18mn%.
  • Earning Higher Spread: Zenith grew Net Interest Income by 12.2% in 2020. This figure represents income earned from the deposits and investments of the banking group. Again, this was achieved by asset mix reorganization. In the face of falling rates especially on shorter-dated FGN instruments, Zenith shifted allocation from Treasury bills to longer-dated FGN bonds which paid a higher yield. Zenith’s Non-interest Income also grew to N275b a 5% jump from 2019. This is driven largely by extraordinary items including foreign currency revaluation gain, which is the gain realized from the revaluation of foreign currency-denominated assets. I must highlight this. Zenith was able to post a gain of about N43b which is a 256% gain from FY 2019 based on the Naira being devalued to the US Dollar.
  • Providing Value Addition: Value addition will include all non-core banking services Zenith Group provides to the public including subsidiaries like the Zenith Penson Custodians which has N4t in assets under custody. Commission on agency and collection was a big contributor to Zenith’s non-core banking revenue.
  • Risk Management: Zenith was efficient in deploying its internal competencies to minimize and avoid risk and impairments from the ordinary and extraordinary course of business. Zenith like other financial institutions saw a pullback in commercial activities from her clients. Take the Commerce subsector, the Non-Performing Loan share in that sector grew from 9% to 24%. Zenith, booked an increase in the number of NPLs by volume to N125m in FY 2020 but the bank was able to keep the NPL ratio down to 4.29%. An extraordinary feat.

Overall, the bank was able to navigate a difficult year and post a good return and a handsome dividend of N3 to investors. Zenith was able to achieve all this while increasing the staff strength by 4.6% to 7555 employees.

However, there are red flags as well:

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  • Net Interest Margin was down in FY 2020 as yields declined. If yield continues to stay muted, can Zenith keep finding profitable avenues to invest that N5.34 deposit base?
  • Interest income positive in FY 2020 at 420b but when compared to 2017, interest income is falling.
  • If you ignore the revaluation gain, then Non-Interest income will be considerably muted, possibly negative in FY 2020
  • Fees on electronic products fell 36% in an environment where online banking has been not just sound business practice, but life-saving as well.

Overall, in an environment with months of local and international shutdowns, Zenith has posted good numbers and demonstrated it is possible to eke out gains from a hard environment. When one looks at the dividend yield, P.E. Ratio of the bank, for me, this is a Buy.

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