Dangote Sugar in its recently released 9M 2019 financials reported a marginal y/y growth in revenue to N117.4 billion in 9M 2019 from N116.8 billion in 9M 2018. However, on a q/q basis, Revenue dipped 12.2% q/q to N37.1 billion in Q3 2019 from N42.2 billion in Q2 2019. We note Revenue in Q3 2019 came in higher than Q3 2018 Revenue by 13.4% y/y. Meanwhile, Net Income declined 12.0% y/y to N14.7bn for 9M 2019 while declining 6.2% q/q to N3.7 billion for Q3 2019.

We have revised our revenue estimate and consequently profit lines upward given recovery in volumes on the back of reduction in influx of smuggled sugar as well as recovered market share following price increase by key competitor, Golden Penny (Flourmills). However, we note that cost pressures stemming from higher raw sugar price as well as increasing freight costs due to the Apapa wharf gridlock remains a source of concern. Thus, despite an upward revision of our key profit lines, they remain lower than 2018 numbers.

We raise our target price for Dangote Sugar to N13.87/s from N13.27/s previously while we maintain our Hold recommendation on the stock given. We note that investors’ interest in the stock has improved over the past few months given attractive dividend yield as well as news of the border closure. We are however less optimistic given the uncertainty around the timeline for the border closure. We arrive at our target price using a combination of the DCF and relative valuations in a ratio of 60:40.

Quick take: Sustained cost pressure weighs on profit, Dangote Sugar Refinery: Revenue recovers but cost pressures remain

Dangote Sugar in its recently released 9M 2019 financials reported a marginal 0.6% y/y rise in Revenue to N117.4 billion in 9M 2019 from N116.8bn in 9M 2018. However, on a q/q basis, Revenue dipped 12.2% q/q to N37.1bn in Q3 2019 from N42.2 billion in Q2 2019. However, we note Revenue in Q3 2019 came in higher than Q3 2018 Revenue by 13.4% y/y which suggests the possibility that the company may be feeling the positive impact of the border closure which has limited entry of smuggled sugar.

Across business segments, sales of the 50kg bag category grew 0.9% y/y to N111.2bn while Revenue from retail sugar was up 2.7% y/y to N3.3bn. On the other hand, Revenues from molasses and freight services were down 26.8% y/y and 7.3% y/y. Furthermore, we compared business segment growth in Q3 2019 with the same period in 2018. We observed strong Q3 2019 y/y recovery in the 50kg bag category (up 15.4% y/y) and Retail sales (up 7.3% y/y). The strong rebound reflects reduction in the influx of smuggled sugar.

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Cost of Sales (adjusted for depreciation) was up 2.4% y/y to N85.4 billion for 9M 2019 from N83.3 billion in 9M 2018. The y/y increase in Cost of Sales reflects the mild pressure on raw sugar prices in the first nine months of the year (our benchmark raw sugar price is up 2.2% y/y). This is notably evident in the 4.6% y/y increase in raw material costs. On a q/q basis, Cost of Sales fell by 13.3%, higher than the 12.2% q/q decline in revenue.

The decline in Cost of Sales reflects lower volumes as well as softer q/q raw sugar price (Q3 2019 vs Q2 2019). Against this backdrop, Gross Profit fell 4.1% y/y to N32.1 billion in 9M 2019 from N33.4 billion in 9M 2018. On a q/q basis, Gross Profit was down 8.6% to N9.0 billion in Q3 2019 from N9.9 billion in Q1 2019. Gross margin was 27.3% in 9M 2019, 1.3ppts lower than the 28.6% reported for 9M 2018.

Deal book 300 x 250

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