Lubricant surge fails to mask waning topline growth
For the second consecutive quarter, TOTAL failed to achieve positive revenue growth in its petroleum products segment. The 9M:2019 scorecard bared a 2.24% Y-o-Y decline in gross revenue (NGN221.84 billion), with Q3:2019 emerging the major culprit. Quarterly revenue printed at NGN71.01 billion (+0.51% Y-o-Y), the lowest this year, only propped up by a 18.25% (Y-o-Y) uptick in lubricant sales (+NGN13.22 billion). However, Q-o-Q, lube sales shed 2.15%. Compared to 9M:2018, white product sales came in 2.83% lower at NGN57.79 billion.
The drop-off was even more pronounced on a Q-o-Q basis (-14.17%). TOTAL is finally reducing the exposure of its topline to bulk sales; on a Y-o-Y basis, there was a 22.50% decline in contribution from this segment (NGN14.91 billion), and -3.27% between Q2 and Q3. With the protracted delay in passage of the PIGB, the expected hike in price of PMS did not eventually materialize, and intensified competition means industry players have to settle for lower revenues this year. On the back of this, our outlook on 2019FY revenue is now significantly moderated – a Y-o-Y decline of 4.29% (NGN294.78bn) even while we envisage further expansion in the lubricant business.
Net Margin Pressured by “Management Fees” and Finance Costs
In Q3:2019, TOTAL’s Cost-to-Sales (CtS) ratio showed some improvement relative to preceding quarters. The 88.22% recorded (Q1: 89.49%, Q2: 88.29%) means gross margin came in slightly higher at 11.78%, albeit lower in absolute terms (NGN8.37 billion) as a result of softer revenue. Overall 9M:2019 gross margin printed at 11.31%, with gross profit at NGN25.10 billion (9M:2018: 13.65%, NGN30.97 billion). This is justified by the fact that landing costs remain elevated on the back of higher freight costs, despite lower oil prices. Operating Expenses constituted a major drag on earnings –up 15.60% to NGN6.86bn for Q3.
In just 9 months, OPEX is up 16.46% to NGN20.72 billion, due to unwieldy administrative costs (primarily Staff Costs and “Technical Assistance & Management Fees”). While we understand that TOTAL Nigeria pays for Technical Assistance from it French parent company, TOTAL SÁ, a key sticking point is how this cost item logged a humongous 97.92% upsurge (+NGN1.02 billion) in a single quarter. Finance costs have been a snag for most of the year. In 9M, TOTAL incurred NGN6.15bn on NGN53.87bn of borrowings (+103.34% Y-o-Y), principally bank overdrafts worth NGN45.97bn for the network segment. Pre-tax loss settled at -NGN0.12 billion (9M:2018: NGN11.44 billion). Net Income also declined by 102.67%, pitching in at -NGN0.20 billion (EPS: -NGN0.60 vs. NGN22.58 previously).
Earnings Quality Takes a Further Hit
In Q3, TOTAL recorded a 11.09% (+NGN6.37 billion) uptick in its receivables balance to NGN63.84bn, which calls to question the suitability of its credit policies. Operating Cashflow steeped further into negative territory (-NGN7.38 billion vs. -NGN5.19 billion in 9M:2018) on the back of a 14.48% surge in inventories, and the increasingly uncontrollable receivables balance.
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Outlook and Recommendation
For the first time in its history, TOTAL might be declaring a full-year loss. What is even more excruciating is that TOTAL will also fail to pay a dividend for the first time in its 40-year listing on the NSE, except the company decides to dip into retained earnings (failure to declare an interim dividend is already clear evidence of this). Earnings is expected to come in much lower at -NGN0.36 billion, (-104.54% Y-o-Y), and EPS at -NGN1.07. Due to the loss, our 2019FY target price of NGN100.48 was computed with reference to an EV/EBITDA ratio of 7.50x and full-year EBITDA of NGN11.3bn. We recommend a SELL.
FG hands over National Theatre to CBN, Bankers Committee, to create 1 million jobs
The Federal Government has announced the official hand over of the National Arts Theatre Complex at Iganmu Lagos, to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, in order to commence the renovation of the facility.
This was contained in a tweet post by the Presidential Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, on his official Twitter handle on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
UPDATE: The event has taken place.
“@NigeriaGov on Sunday officially handed over the National Theatre complex in Lagos to @cenbank and Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, to commence the RENOVATION of the facility.” https://t.co/h2aWfuHyF8
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) July 12, 2020
During the event which was attended by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the bankers were targeting 1 million jobs from this project in the next 5 years.
In the tweet post, Tolu Ogunlesi said, ‘’The Nigerian Government on Sunday officially handed over the National Theatre complex in Lagos to Central Bank of Nigeria and Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, to commence the renovation of the facility.’’
Emefiele said the handover of the facility to the committee was timely, considering the external headwinds facing the country’s economy at the moment. He said that the renovation of the facility which would be completed in 18 months, would have transformed the facility into Nigeria’s Creative Industrial Centre.
According to the CBN boss, the National Arts Centre will be comparable to other world-class entertainment and convention centres in any part of the world. He said the activities in the centre which would include music, movies, fashion and ICT, could be a very important source of growth and reduce the dependence on revenues from crude oil.
He pointed out the creative industry has the potential to generate over $20 billion annually for Nigeria with its human capital resources and an enabling environment that would harness the creative talents of her youths.
Emefiele said: “We must do more to encourage the innovative works of these young talented Nigerians as they can make significant contributions to the growth and development of our country.’’
“Secondly, given our growing population of close to 200m people, out of which 60 per cent are under the age of 35, it is imperative that we strive to create opportunities that will keep our youths engaged, as it would portend great dangers for the progress of our nation if we allow these talents go to waste”
Emefiele said that the Creative Industries Financing Initiative which was set up in December 2018 was to support startups and existing businesses as well as foster development of Nigeria Creative Industries Centre in 4 major cities in Nigeria. He said the bankers’ committee would support the creative industry with about N25 billion of initial funding.
He said upon the completion of the renovation works at the theatre with the supporting facilities, the committee intends to set up similar creative industries centres in Kano, Port-Harcourt or Enugu.
He also said that the theatre would support skills acquisition and job creation for over 1 million Nigerians. These Nigerians will be empowered with funds at a single digit interest rate, high-level training using state of the art tools and networks that will enable them to turn their ideas into a reality.
He revealed that the supporting facilities like retail outlets, hotels, entertainment centres and an international conference centre would also help to reposition the centre as a viable location for high-level international meetings and conventions.
FG disburses N349.5m in Conditional Cash transfer to poor households in Kaduna
The disbursement was done under the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer.
The Federal Government has successfully disbursed a total of N349.5 million to 34,946 poor and vulnerable households in Kaduna State, under the conditional cash transfer programme.
According to the Head of Cash Transfer Unit in the State, Hajiya Hauwa Abdulrazaq, the disbursement lasted a period of 10 days, from July 1 to July 10.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, Abdulrazaq explained that the benefiting households were drawn from 9 local government areas in the state – 4,470 from Kajuru; 8,032 in Birnin Gwari; 1,963 in Kauru; 1,406 in Sanga, 4,380 in Lere, 2,021 in Kachia; 5,478 in Ikara; 2,784 in Chikun, and 4,412 in Kubau LGAs.
She noted that the disbursement was done under the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer, a Households Uplifting Programme targeting poorest of the poor households in the country, and that each of the households received N10,000 each, being payment for the months of May and June at N5,000 per month.
“The households uplifting programme is one of the national social investment programmes which implementation began in September 2016,” she said.
NAN reports that the programme began in 2017 in Kaduna state with about 10,000 beneficiaries, but expanded to 22,380 in April 2020.
In May, a total of 12,566 new beneficiaries were added summing the figures to 34,956 beneficiaries in the state.
The state government had also commenced the process of capturing poor and vulnerable households into the social register in the remaining 14 LGAs, from which beneficiaries of the cash transfer would be extracted in subsequent months.
Evacuation: 247 Nigerians arrive home from Malaysia, Thailand
The returnees were evacuated with a chartered Air Peace flight APK-7813.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has safely evacuated and returned home, two hundred and forty-seven Nigerians who were stranded in Malaysia and Thailand.
The returnees were evacuated with a chartered Air Peace flight APK-7813 which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 11p.m. on Saturday.
Chartered @airpeace flight APK-7813 conveying 247 stranded Nigerians from Malaysia and Thailand arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at exactly 2300HRS, 11th of July 2020.
Some passengers disembarked in Abuja..
— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (@nidcom_gov) July 12, 2020
According to Mr Gabriel Odu, the Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) who spoke to NAN, some of the returnees disembarked in Abuja, while the others proceeded to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
In line with the protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all of the returnees presented a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the evacuation flight, and upon arriving Nigeria, are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation.
Since four weeks ago, from the federal government, through the ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the resumption of evacuation flights, hundreds of stranded Nigerians have been returned home to their families from different countries including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand.
The returnees bear the cost of their flight tickets and are expected to self-isolate for four weeks, upon their return to Nigeria. Returnees who receive a clean bill of health after the isolation, are given their passports and allowed to go home.