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Blurb

What next for Forte Oil Plc following Prudent Energy’s takeover?

Femi Otedola’s exit from the @forteoilng means Prudent Energy the new key shareholder will have to make several key decisions.

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Forte Oil Plc, Femi Otedola, Forte Oil to change name, Olumide Adeosun

Femi Otedola, the erstwhile majority shareholder of Forte Oil Plc, today announced his exit from the firm, in a post on his Instagram page.  

During the day’s trading session, 970,166,694 units of Forte Oil Plc were done as offmarket trades today at N66.25 in five deals.  

Last December, when it made the announcement, Forte Oil stated that Otedola’s decision was premised on his desire to invest the proceeds in harnessing and maximizing business opportunities in refining and petrochemicals. 

  • Otedola bought the company’s upstream, power and Ghanaian units.  
  • His exit means that Prudent Energy (run by Abdulwasiu Sowami) has now taken control of the firm.  
  • The move however could mean that the company may have to take the following key decisions.  

Next Move: The next possible move will be to install a new management team that will takeover from Akin Akinfemiwa and his young executives.    

  • Following Otedola’s take over of the firm, there was a change in key management.
  • Thus, this same action will be expected in the coming days and weeks.
  • Akin Akinfemiwa and his team have run Forte Oil for the last 8 years taking it from a loss making non dividend company to a profitable one that paid dividends over the years. 

To delist? Otedola’s exit means that the new dominant shareholder will have to decide on either remaining on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) or delisting.  

  • NIPCO Plcwhich took up a majority stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, embarked on a Mandatory Take Over (MTO) shortly after.  
  • AMTO means that the dominant shareholder makes a buy offer for the shares it does not own from minority investors. 
  • SEC Rules and Regulations require a Mandatory Takeover bid be made to all shareholders of a public company by any party that acquires 30% or more shares of the company.

Name change: Its also unknown if the new majority owners will maintain the current name or change it but this is plausible.

  • A change in name would have significant implications in terms of finance, as well as the brand as a whole.  
  • Perhaps by pure coincidence or stroke of luck, Femi Otedola was closely associated with the brand, due to the somewhat eponymous initials FO. 
  • He, is also one of the few billionaires with an active social media presence.  
  • The firm went by the name African Petroleum, before a rebrand to Forte Oil Plc in December 2010. This was a few years after Otedola took a majority stake.  

Companies in the downstream sector have struggled, as they are forced to rely on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for products.

  • The current landing price of petrol is way higher than the pump price, and the government has been unwilling to make an adjustment.  
  • Higher finance costs led to several listed firms either incurring losses, or having significantly lower profit in the first quarter of 2019.  
  • Total Nigeria Plc incurred a N474 million loss after tax, in the first quarter of 2019. 11 Plc ‘s Q1 2019 profit fell by 26%, from N2.7 billion in 2018 to N2 billion in 2019. MRS Oil had a loss after tax of N730 million.  

However, Forte was the outlier with its Q1 2019 profit boosted by earnings from discontinued operations.  

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  • Operators, in this space, in a bid to surmount this, have diversified. 11 Plc (formerly known as Mobil) has decided to ram up its aviation and LPG sales.  
  • A few years ago, Forte had launched into the sale of solar products. While the contribution to the bottom-line is small (amounting to N15 million of the N55 billion earned in the first quarter ended March 2019), the firm will have to decide if it will expand on that, or move on to other ventures.  

The journey: Forte Oil PLC was incorporated on December 11, 1964 as British Petroleum Nigeria Limited. After 14 years in operation, the company changed its status from a private limited liability company to a public liability company.

  • In 1977, 40% of the company’s shares were sold to Nigerians in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1977.
  • A year later 60% was acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria in favour of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
  • In November 1979 the name British Petroleum was changed to African Petroleum PLC.
  • NNPC’s stake in AP was reduced by 20% in March 1989 after the Federal Government sold the above percentage to Nigerian Citizens, increasing their stake from 40% to 60%.
  • In the year 2000, the Federal Government under its privatization programme divested its remaining 40% to core investors and interested Nigerians.

In May 2007,  NNPC’s Pension Fund divested its stake to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, making it the majority shareholder in the company.

Forte Oil Plc closed at N34.65 in today’s trading session, up 10% from the prior day. Year to date, the stock is up 20.73% 

 

 

 

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Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training.He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy.You can contact him via [email protected]

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Blurb

GlaxoSmithKline in big trouble as losses mount

The results were less than impressive with several key indicators showing a year-on-year decline.

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GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc records 3.34% increase in 2020 9M revenues.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc (“GSK Plc” or “the Company”) is a public limited liability company with 46.4% of the shares of the Company held by Setfirst Limited and Smithkline Beecham Limited (both incorporated in the United Kingdom), and 53.6% held by Nigerian shareholders.

The ultimate parent and controlling party is GlaxoSmithKline Plc, United Kingdom (GSK Plc UK). The parent company controls GSK Plc through Setfirst Limited and SmithKline Beecham Limited.

The Company recently published its unaudited first quarter (Q1) 2021 consolidated financial statements for the period ended 31 March 2021.

READ: GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc records 3.34% increase in 2020 9M revenues

The results were less than impressive with several key indicators showing a year-on-year decline. For example, Group revenue (turnover) declined from ₦4.99 billion in Q1 2020 to ₦3.46 billion in Q1 2021 a drop of over 30.66%. The revenue drop was due to a sharp decline in the local sale of its healthcare products.

Total loss after tax as of Q1 2021 was ₦238.07 million compared to a profit after tax of ₦113.47 million for the same period to Q1 2020.

The company is essentially divided into two segments viz: Consumer Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals. While the Healthcare segment was largely profitable in Q1 2021 (making a profit before tax of ₦ 8.73 million by March 31, 2021, the pharmaceuticals segment made a loss of ₦262.93 million in the same period.

READ: GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria announces changes in its board

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The Consumer Healthcare segment of the company consists of oral health products, digestive health products, respiratory health products, pain relievers, over the counter medicines, and nutritional healthcare; while the pharmaceutical segment consists of antibacterial medicines, vaccines, and prescription drugs. While goods for the consumer healthcare segment are produced in the country, the pharmaceuticals are all imported.

The largely imported pharmaceutical products are thus exposed to the vagaries of foreign currency fluctuations coupled with a negligible to no revenue from the foreign sale of its healthcare products (same as in Q1 2020) as it barely exports its products out of the country.

The cost of importing the antibacterial, vaccines and prescription drugs, and the significant local operating expenses wiped off the marginal gross profits made by the pharmaceutical segment of the company. In effect, the gross profit of ₦508.12 million made by the pharmaceutical segment of the company was eliminated by an operating expense of ₦735.7 million and this resulted in a net loss for the pharmaceutical segment of the business.

READ: Nigerian Breweries posts N7.66bn as Q1 2021 profit, shares gain 2.2%

Apart from the impact of imported pharmaceutical products as already discussed, other issues that affected the company’s Q1 2021 results and are likely to continue to affect its performance in future include:

  1. A limited product mix that has only the likes of Macleans and Sensodyne (Oral Healthcare); Pain relievers (Panadol and Voltaren); Digestive Health (Andrews Liver Salt); and Respiratory Health (Otrivin and Panadol Cold and Catarrh) all within the Consumer Healthcare segment.
  2. Increased competition, particularly from local pharmaceutical manufactures of similar over the counter medicines and other prescription medications and vaccines.

In addition, in October 2016, GSK Plc divested its drinks bottling and distribution business that manufactures and distributes Lucozade and Ribena in Nigeria, and other assets including the factory used for the drinks business to Suntory Beverage & Food Limited. The loss in revenue from these popular brands continues to impact its topline.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a global healthcare company and is well-known and acknowledged for its pioneering role in discovering and distributing vaccines for the likes of hepatitis A and B, meningitis, tetanus, influenza, rabies, typhoid, chickenpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, cervical cancer and many more.

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It is also renowned for its manufacture and distribution of prescription medicines such as antibiotics and treatments for such ailments as asthma, HIV/AIDS, malaria, depression, migraines, diabetes, heart failure, and digestive disorders.

Perhaps GSK Plc’s fortunes may change if the company is able to obtain the parent company’s licence to manufacture GSK-owned vaccines and prescription medicines within the country while also exploring the possibility of extending the sale of its products outside the shores of the country.

Since different expertise is required for vaccines and prescription drug manufacture and distribution as compared to manufacture and sale of consumer healthcare products, perhaps another alternative may be for the company to create two separate companies with one company being a 100% vaccines and prescription drug pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution company while the second company specializes entirely in the manufacture and sale of consumer healthcare products.

As a result of the Q1 2021 performance, the company’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped to -20 kobo compared to the 9 kobo earnings per share reported in Q1 2020. At the start of 2021, GSK Plc’s share price was ₦6.90 but the company has since lost over 10% of its price valuation as the company’s share price closed at ₦6.20 on April 30, 2021.

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Blurb

NB Plc’s share price and dividends keeping shareholders happy

It was not all hunky-dory for the company as its cost of sales jumped from N48.3 billion in Q1 2020 to N66 billion in Q1 2021.

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Jordi Borrut Bel, Nigerian Breweries Plc

Nigerian Breweries Plc (“NB Plc” or the “Company”) reported its first-quarter (Q1) 2021 results on April 23, 2021.

The company’s performance was impressive considering the headwinds it faced late in 2020 and early 2021 from inflationary pressures, poor consumer purchasing power, lethargic economic growth, and increase in the company’s beer prices which took effect from Q4 2020.

The company achieved a net revenue for the three months to March 31, 2021 of N105.68 billion compared to N83.23 billion for the same period to March 31, 2020 — a 27% increase compared to the Q1 2020 results.

It also achieved a N39.67 billion gross profit — a 13.7% increase in gross profit compared to Q1 2020.

Quarter-on-quarter EBITDA rose by 22.8% from N19.82 billion in Q1 2020 to N24.34 billion in Q1 2021. Other positive outcomes quarter on quarter were the increase in operating income (from N10.94 billion to N14.49 billion), profit before tax (from N8.3 billion to N11.51 billion), and profit after tax (from N5.53 billion to N7.66 billion).

It was not all hunky-dory for the company as its cost of sales (direct costs attributable to NB Plc’s production) jumped from N48.3 billion in Q1 2020 to N66 billion in Q1 2021, an increase of N17.7 billion. According to the company, its costs are subject to seasonal fluctuations as a result of weather conditions and festivities. As a result, the company’s results and volumes are dependent on the performance in the peak‐selling season, typically resulting in higher revenue and profitability in the last quarter of the year.

The total cost of sales, marketing and distribution, and administration expenses grew from N72.47 billion in Q1 2020 to N91.63 billion in Q1 2021 – a jump of 26.43%. This jump was largely attributable to the cost of raw materials and consumables which grew to N46.53 billion (compared to N30.2 billion for the same period in Q1 2020).

The raw materials cost pressure has been a trend since Q2 2020 driven by the rising commodity prices, foreign exchange devaluation and domestic inflationary pressures. As a result, the cost of the raw materials to net income ratio has continued to rise. This ratio was 36.3% in Q1 2020 but has risen to 44% in Q1 2021.

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What may be a source of particular concern for the company is how well working capital is being managed from a liquidity and leverage perspective. The company reported cash and cash equivalents of N30.37 billion in Q1 2020, this had dropped to N18.43 billion by Q1 2021. In the same period, trade debtors and other receivables (i.e., those that owe the company for purchases that have not been paid for) had increased from N11.42 billion in Q1 2020 to N23.48 billion in Q1 2021, an increase of over 105% in just 12 months!

More worrying, in terms of magnitude, are trade creditors and other payables (i.e., those that the company owes payments for goods and services purchased) which grew from N139.2 billion in Q1 2020 to N145.41 billion in Q1 2021, a rise of N6.21 billion (or 4.5%) in just 12 months.

While the company’s loans and borrowings had reduced significantly (short-term loans in Q1 2021 was N35.65 billion versus N39.64 billion in Q1 2020; and long-term loans in Q1 2021 was N15.87 billion versus N51,81 billion in Q1 2020), the cost of borrowing, that is, interest expenses that the company paid on borrowed funds, rose from N2.7 billion in Q1 2020 to N3 billion in Q1 2021. This suggests that while short term and long-term borrowing have reduced, working capital needs are being refinanced at a higher cost or alternatively, most of the reduced short term or long-term borrowings have simply been restructured from longer-term loans to shorter-term overdrafts and commercial papers with a higher interest expense. The balance sheet as of Q1 2021 showed a liability in the form of bank overdraft and/or commercial papers of N21.44 billion which was not in the books in Q1 2020.

The first-quarter report also showed that as of March 31, 2021, the company had revolving credit facilities with five Nigerian banks to finance its working capital with the approved limit of the loan with each of the banks ranging from N6 billion to N15 billion (total N66 billion). N9 billion of the available amount was utilized at end of March 2021 (2020: Nil).

It should be noted that NB Plc’s financial statements for the 3 months ended 31st March 2021 are yet to be independently audited, so the results may be further improved or be worse, depending on the views and professional opinion of the external auditors in terms of accounting treatments and management judgement on significant transactions.

From the company’s numbers and explanations, the results are clearly driven by:

(1) Benefits from its increased pricing with the raised prices taking effect from December 10, 2020. The increases ranged from 5.2% to 6%, mainly on selected brands packaged in aluminium cans and on the 600-ml Star Larger returnable glass bottle.

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(2) Volume growth in its premium brands (particularly Heineken) and non-alcoholic portfolio (particularly Maltina).

(3) Relative inelastic demand for its portfolio mix despite price increases, availability of substitutes, and stagnate consumer wages eroded by inflation. In economics, inelastic demand occurs when the demand for a product remains static or changes less than changes in price.

Overall, the company achieved outstanding results that would have confounded analysts’ estimates. Given continued inflationary trends and currency depreciation, it would be interesting to see whether turnover and profitability growth are sustainable over the remaining quarters of the year. On its financial year 2020 performance, the company paid a final dividend of NGN0.69 in April 2021 (interim of NGN0.25 paid in December 2020). If the trend is sustained, it can only be good news for NB Plc in terms of increases in its share price and dividends for its shareholders.

Heineken Brouwerijen B.V owns 37.73% of the company to which NB Plc pays annual technical service fees and royalties.

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