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Companies

Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy threatens tourism 

British Travel Company and airline, Thomas Cook has shut down and declared bankrupt leaving 600,000 people stranded across the world.   

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British Travel Company and airline, Thomas Cook has shut down and declared bankrupt leaving 600,000 people stranded across the world.   

Reports have it that the company failed to meet a deadline to secure new funding and so had no choice but to collapse. 

Thomas Cook had been trying to avoid collapse after the Royal Bank of Scotland and a range of other banks demanded that Thomas Cook Group PLC find £200 million ($250 million) in funding by this upcoming week. 

The news was conveyed by Thomas Cook’s Chief Executive, Peter Fankhauser in a statement released early on Monday morning.  

Fankhauser said, “I would like to apologize to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers, and partners who have supported us for many years. We are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect. 

[READ ALSO: This billionaire wants to reduce the number of hours people work]

“This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the worldDespite huge efforts over several months, and further intense negotiations in recent days, we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business. I know that this outcome will be devastating to many people and cause a lot of anxiety, stress, and disruption.  

As at the time of the closure, around 600,000 Thomas Cook customers were reported to be traveling, some of whom were scheduled to fly to their destinations with the airline.  

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An operation was put in motion to solve the crisis on the ground by the British Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority under the code name “Operation Matterhorn,” where stranded passengers were assisted to get to their destinations.  

However, travelers, who had booked flights, could encounter up to 2 weeks delay in rebooking with another airline. Costs of the flights were expected to be covered by the ATOL or Air Travel Organiser’s License protection scheme, a fund which provides for repatriation of British travelers if an airline ceases to operate. 

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Threat to tourism: The shutdown has left many people stranded, and at the same time, left fuel suppliers out of pocket. More so, Thomas Cook’s shutdown compelled the closure of its hundreds of travel agents across British high streets.   

In order to manage the lingering challenges, British regulator was said to have contacted hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers to tell them that they would be paid by the government through an insurance scheme. That was after some were briefly held in a hotel in Tunisia when staff asked for additional payments to be made.  

In Germany, a major customer market for Thomas Cook, insurance companies will coordinate the response. 

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[READ ALSO: NSE lifts suspension on Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc]

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Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Companies

Unilever earmarks N62 million as remuneration to its Non-Executive Directors in 2021

Unilever Nigeria has fixed its remuneration to the Non-executive Directors of the company in 2021 at N62 million.

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Unilever Overseas increases stake in Unilever Nigeria Plc

One of Nigeria’s leading FMCG companies, Unilever Nigeria Plc, is set to pay out a total of N62 million as remuneration to its Non-Executive Directors for the year ended December 31, 2021.

This disclosure was made by the leading consumer goods company as one of the key resolutions that would be considered and passed at the Company’s ninety-sixth (96th) Annual General Meeting, which will hold on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 10.00 am.

The famed manufacturer of Sunlight detergent also revealed that in addition to the N62 million remuneration, sitting allowances will be paid at standard agreed rates for each meeting attended and the Chairman of the company will be entitled to a vehicle allowance of N12 million gross per annum.

READ: Heavy sell-off in PZ & Unilever shares leads to N6.09 billion market value loss

Short-term benefits paid by Unilever in 2020 to its Directors

Despite the fact that Unilever Nigeria Plc has not paid its shareholders dividends for about two years now, the FMCG company paid out short-term benefits of about N511 million and N73 million to its Executive and Non-Executive Directors in 2020 respectively, compared to a sum of N590 million and N59 million it paid out in 2019 respectively. The members of the leadership team, excluding the Executive Directors of the company, were paid a total of N867 million short term benefits in 2020, down from the N1.04 billion they received in 2019.

On the flip side, the total payout as wages and salaries to the company’s employee in 2020 was N5.05 billion, this is down from the N5.99 billion which the company paid out in 2019.

READ: Abdulsamad Rabiu set to earn N39.4 billion from his cement business

In case you missed it

According to a recent result by Unilever Nigeria Plc, the company made a loss of about N492 million in the first quarter of 2021. This figure is 144.1% lower when compared to the profit of N1.114 billion made by the company in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

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Unilever’s revenue however surged by 45.7% during the quarter. However, the growth in the cost of sales, and the huge 63.3% increase in marketing and administrative expenses pressured the profits down to a loss of N492 million in the first quarter of 2021.

READ: Guinness shares surge by 9.89%, lifting the brewer’s capitalization by N5.9 billion

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What you should know

  • Shares of Unilever Nigeria Plc are currently valued at N12.95 per share, placing the YTD loss in the shares of the company at -6.83%.
  • Unilever Nigeria Plc is the sixth most valuable consumer goods company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with a robust market valuation put at N74.4 billion, higher than Guinness Nigeria Plc, NASCON Allied Industries Plc and PZ Cussons.
  • The shares of the top FMCG brand is trading 23.8% lower than its 52-week high price of N17, and 23.3% higher than its 52 week low of N10.5.

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Companies

COVID-19, VAT, FX scarcity adversely impacted our operations in 2020 – Nigerian Breweries boss says

NB Plc’s operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase and FX devaluation.

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Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

The management of Nigeria’s leading brewer, Nigerian Breweries Plc has revealed that its operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase, FX devaluation and scarcity of foreign exchange.

This statement was made by the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, at the company’s pre-AGM media briefing for the financial year-end 2020, which held in Lagos this week.

He noted that the increase in the brewer’s cost in 2020 was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted the company’s operations, as well as the increase in VAT, devaluation and FX scarcity which has put pressure on input cost.

READ: Alcoholic beverage makers on NSE lose a total N27.7 billion in a single day

The Nigerian Breweries boss explained further that the increase in cost could not be fully attributed to currency devaluation and foreign exchange scarcity.

He explained that the increase in costs of goods sold, as reported in its audited financial results, could also be linked to the increase in the volume of goods sold, as the company’s sales volume in 2020 increased by almost the same percentage as the cost of goods sold.

To deal with this challenge going forward, he revealed that the company is focused on the supply chain, and will continue to seek out ways to mitigate any of the price increases coming from FX scarcity.

READ: Brewery sector: A quarter to forget

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The company’s profitability in question?

An analysis of the company’s result revealed that despite the 4.3% increase in net revenue from N323.00 billion recorded in 2019, to a total of N337.01 billion in 2020, the company’s profit declined significantly by 53.3% to N7.53 billion.

Speaking on this, Jordi Borrut in his statement at the press briefing noted that the brewer’s business performance in 2020 was quite impressive especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. Despite these challenges, the company maintained a strong and healthy balance sheet.

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There was a slight reduction in profitability but compared to the previous year, the business witnessed an improved growth in revenue. The significance of this is that the business became more stable and healthier,” he said.

READ: Nigeria’s triangular beer war on the rise with the arrival of Budweiser

What you should know

  • Nigerian breweries, being the largest brewer in the country, maintained its stance in terms of generating profits year-on-year. The company emerged as the only brewer to record a profit of N7.37 billion from its operations in 2020, 54.3% lower than 2019 figures (N16.1 billion).
  • From this, the leading brewer was able to pay shareholders a total dividend of N7.5 billion, translating to a dividend of 94 kobos per share – a dividend payout in which exceeds 100%.
  • While Guinness and International Breweries made a loss of N12.6 billion and N24.9 billion respectively, this reality impacted their ability to pay their shareholders dividends in 2020.

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