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Nigeria’s Bluechips spend N114 billion on advertising, marketing in 2019

According to the data, ABMP spend annualized for 2019 is about N114 billion compared to N116.394 billion spent in 2018 and N101.8 billion in 2017.



Nigeria's Bluechips spend N114 billion on advertising, marketing in 2019

Nigeria’s largest companies have spent a whopping N85.7 billion on Advertising, Branding, Marketing and Promotion “ABMP” expenses in 2019.  This is according to the information contained in the annual report of these companies as compiled by Nairametrics research.  

According to the data, ABMP spend annualized for 2019 is about N114 billion compared to N116.394 billion spent in 2018 and N101.8 billion in 2017. We believe the ad spend could top N114 billion as ABMP expenses typically increase in the last quarter of the year.  Most of the companies featured in our survey do not report advertising spend separately bundling it with marketing, branding and promotional expenses. 

Big spenders: The research also indicates big ad spend occurs mainly in industries with stiff competition as they jostle to draw customer attention and pockets. For example, the brewery industry made of Nigeria Breweries, Guinness and International Breweries spent about N41.6 billion in 2018 compared to N36.4 billion in 2017. ABMP data in the first 9 months of 2019 suggests they have spent about N39 billion. Guinness’s financial year-end is June 30th as such its ABMP spend for 2018 was between July 2018 and June 2019. 

Nairametrics Research (C)

International Brewery’s acquisition by ABInbev has resulted in a big leap in ad spend between 2017 and 2019 helping them scrape into the market share of its closest rival Guinness Nigeria Plc. In 2018, Intl. Breweries spent N7.86 billion compared to N1.9 billion in 2017. It has so far spent about N9 billion in the first 9 months of 2019. Nigerian Breweries continues to lead the pack with over N20 billion (N22.4b, N23.7 billion and N21.3 billion in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Big spenders: Apart from the Brewery sector, the banking sector also recorded significant ABMP spend with about N31.9 billion so far in 2019. Spending in this sector topped N52.9 billion in 2018 and about N50.4 billion in 2017.

Nairametrics research (C)

Access Bank’s merger with Diamond Bank helped recorded the biggest increase in ABMP spend topping N5.9 billion in the first 9 months of 2019. This compares to N4.8 billion recorded in 2018 and N6billion recorded in 2017 all 12 full calendar months compared to 9 months so far in September. The bank is set to top its total ABMP spend for 2017.

We also observe, Zenith Bank remains the highest spenders with aver N9 billion spent in 2018. The bank has so far spent about N5.1 billion in 2019. Combined, the banking sector has spent about N135.3 billion in 33 months. We also observed a rise in the commercial bank’s preference for spending on big media events such as fashion shows, SME fairs, and hackathons. It is unclear how they classify this spend in their books considering that it cuts across advertising, branding, promotions, and marketing.

How are they spend: Nairametrics research concludes big brands spend a huge chunk of their money on billboards, TV spend, Newspapers and digital ads. We also observe ABMP spending on branded events has increased over the years as brands pivot more into fashion shows and fairs.


[READ ALSO: Nigerians who earn less than minimum wage spend 95% on food – Report(Opens in a new browser tab)]

The pivot towards organic media sponsored events is thought to have started with Guaranty Trust Bank following the success of its fashion and food fair. Banks like Zenith, UBA, and Fidelity Bank have also veered into this space splashing millions of naira on billboard and digital ad spend. Some banks also spend heavily running online TV stations that promote their brand and products as well as cover their events. The banks also not report how to measure return on investments.

A recent PWC research report on outlook of Entertainment and Media in Nigeria projects total advertising spend of about $450 million (N162 billion) in 2019. This amount likely excludes branding, marketing, and promotions. According to the report, Nigerian brands spent about $387 million and $419 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively.  Most of the money went towards TV & Video spend as well as Out of home (billboard) advertising. Internet ad spend is only expected to hit $86 million in 2019.

Nigeria Adspend
Source: Statista/PWC

Foreign ads: Sources from some of Nigeria’s largest ad agencies inform Nairametrics that foreign ad sellers like Google, Facebook, and Twitter attract most of the $86 million projected to be spent on internet ads in 2019. Online businesses such as news and blogs are often paid pittance compared to their foreign counterparts mostly due to their larger user base and significantly better ad programs.

Nigerian media agencies and ad sellers also complain of being shortchanged by internationally affiliated PR agencies. According to a CEO of a PR agency who preferred to remain anonymous, multinationals doing business in Nigeria often prefer to key into global PR contracts with their European or US headquarters cutting off the services of PR agencies locally. Even when they do decide to work with local PR agencies, the fees are relatively smaller compared to when they directly invoice brands.


Recession and increased competition: Ad and PR agencies also complained that stiffer competition in the sector has reduced their earnings. This is even made worse by budget cuts from major brands who are now more frugal with how they channel their ad spend. According to the agencies, most brands also demand data on ROI as they increasingly want to tie ad spend increase in topline revenues.

Ad Spend from Bluechip NSE companies.
Note: The report focusses on about 24 of the largest quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with published annual reports for the last three years.



Nairametrics Research team tracks, collates, maintains and manages a rich database of macro-economic and micro-economic data from Nigeria and Africa. Our analysts share some of the data collated on Nairametrics, using formats such as docs, tables and charts etc. The team also publishes research based analysis as articles on a regular basis.



  1. Dan M

    December 3, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Nice one. Thanks for the analysis

  2. Good Nigerian

    December 3, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Well done guys. Good job. We want more analysis like this!

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Merger, Tax incentive boosts BUA Cement FY 2019 result

BUA Cement Plc recently released financials reveal a 47.5% increase in revenues of N175.52 billion up from N119 billion in 2018.



BUA Cement gives succour to host communities in Edo

One of the industries set to experience the downsides of the Covid-19 pandemic is the construction industry. Given the slowdown in construction activities as a result of the lockdowns and constrained economic activities, the reasons are not farfetched.

Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, Globe Newswire had predicted an accelerated growth pace of the global construction industry from 2.6% in 2019 to 3.1% in 2020. This growth has now been revised to 0.5%. What is even more daunting is that the revised growth rate is based on the assumption that the outbreak will be contained across all major markets by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

It is only after that (including freedom of movement in H2 2020) that events could facilitate reverting to the normal course of activities to foster businesses in the industry like BUA Cement or those that depend on it to restart activities.

Nigeria’s third-largest cement company, BUA Cement Plc, however, still has its 2019 victories in order. Involved in the manufacturing and sales of cement, BUA Cement has 3 major subsidiaries and plants in Northern and Southern Nigeria.

(READ MORE:Update: BUA Cement Plc lists N1.18 trillion shares on NSE)

With a market capitalisation of N1.18 trillion ($3.3 billion), BUA is the third most capitalised company on the NSE. Its recently released financials reveal a 47.5% increase in revenues of N175.52 billion up from N119 billion in 2018.

Kalambaina Cement Line 2, BUA Group, Kalambaina Cement, CCNN, Merger, Tax Incentive Boost BUA Cement FY 2019 Results

The company’s profits also increased by 69.1% from N39.17 billion in 2018 to N66.24 billion in 2019. Core operating performance was strong, and this was supported by strong cement sales in the domestic market, impairment writes back, and other income.

Deal book 300 x 250

The main reason for the company’s increased earnings is from the cost synergy and increased revenue as a result of the merger that took place between CCNN Plc and Obu Cement Company Limited.

There was also a striking jump in its income statement on its tax for the year. For FY 2019, it incurred a tax expense of N5.6 billion, in comparison to the N24.9 billion tax credit it received in FY 2018.


This was as a result of a reversal of previous tax provision made on Obu Line 1; it received approvals for an extension of the company’s pioneer status on Obu line-1 and Kalambaina line-2 in February 2020, to leave effective tax rate at just over 8% in 2019. The pioneer status will help the company save funds that will otherwise have been spent on higher taxes.

(READ MORE:Dangote Cement to access more debt funding)

BUA reported an impressive FY’19 result. Its performance shows the growing strength of the company and its increasing market share. On the back of the strong performance, management declared an N1.75 dividend per share that translates to a dividend yield of 5.5% on current prices.

Cash flow position was also robust with a strong closing cash balance – from N2.8 billion in 2018 to N15.6 billion as at year ended 2019. The company’s growth, as well as the impact of its merger, present a great buy opportunity of the highly capitalized, low-cost stock. As of today when the market closed (21st May) its share price stood at N35.60 from a 52-week range of N27.6 and N41.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Best and worst case scenarios for the Nigerian economy

What we see is a great growth stock further heightened by the population expansion and increased urbanization. However, we expect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to be felt from the Q1 results of the company.


The industry could slow down for the year as the level of commercial construction also slows down. Yet the best part of holding stocks like this is that even with stalled operations for a period, a resurgence will always emerge.

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Analysis: Airtel Nigeria is winning where it matters

Airtel has left no stones unturned in ensuring that its provisions are top-shelf – subscribers to the network, of course will have their own ideas.  



Analysis: Airtel Nigeria is winning where it matters.

Airtel might have won our hearts over with internet-war adverts starring our favourite tribal in-laws, but its fundamentals are what will make us the bucks that keep us happy. Airtel Africa Ltd is a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group, Bharti Airtel Ltd; the group has left no stones unturned in ensuring that its provision of prepaid plans, credit transfers, mobile internet services, messaging, roaming facilities and more, are top-shelf – subscribers to the network, of course, will have their own ideas.

Since last year when Airtel Nigeria became the second telecommunication company in Nigeria listed on the NSE, the company has experienced a steady level of growth. With a presence in 14 African countries, the group’s strength lies in its diversity with stronger companies mitigating the poor performances of others.

Performance Overview: Airtel Africa 

Airtel Africa’s report for the year ended March 2020, revenue jumped by 10.9% from $3.1 billion at the year ended 2019 to $3.4 billion in 2020. The consolidated profit before tax also jumped by 71.8% from $348 million in 2019 to $598 million in 2020. However, profit for the period dropped by 4.23% with earnings of $408 million in 2020 from the $426 million it had earned in 2019. A reason for this is the tax figure that moved from a credit of $78 million in 2019 to tax payments as high as $190 million in 2020. Total assets also jumped by 2.41% from 2019’s value of $9.1 billion to $9.3 billion in 2020 primarily as a result of their acquisition of more property, plant, and equipment (PPE). The total customer base grew by 9.3% to 99.7 million for the year ended.

Full Report here.

Revenue growth of 10.9% was driven by double-digit growth in Nigeria and East Africa. However, the rest of its African operations experienced a decline in revenue. Its success in Nigeria is especially commendable, considering the fact that the company lost more than 100,000 subscribers in Nigeria between December 2019 and January 2020. Raghunath Mandava, Chief Executive Officer, remarked that the results which were in line with the group’s expectations, “are clear evidence of the effectiveness of our strategy across Voice, Data and Mobile Money.”

(READ MORE: NCDC and NNPC-IPPG reinforce #TakeResponsibility theme with multi-lingual campaign)

Behind The Numbers – Nigeria

Airtel Nigeria’s performance indicates the company is making the right calls in a very competitive industry. Nigerians are fickle when it comes to data and voice but will spend if the service is right. The company grew its data revenue by a whopping 58% to $435 million a sign that its strategy to focus on data is working. Voice Revenues for the year was up 15% to $850 million. In total, Airtel Nigeria’s revenue was up 24.4% to $1.37 billion. Ebitda margin, a number closely watched by foreign investors 54.2% from 49% a year earlier. Operating profit for the year ended also jumped by 52.6% for the year from 2019 and 32.4% from Q1 2019. Total customer base in Nigeria also grew by 12.5%.

Regulation forces Airtel Africa to initiate shares listing in Malawi , Analysis: Airtel Nigeria is winning where it matters.

Deal book 300 x 250

Nigeria is surely critical to Airtel Africa’s future seeing that it contributes about one-third of its revenue. Recent results thus indicate it is winning where it matters most and it must continue to stay this way if it desires to survive a brutal post-COVID-19 2020. Telcos are expected to be among the winners as Nigerians rely more on data to work remotely but there are other players in this game. Concerning the impact of the pandemic, he explained that at the time of the approval of the Group Financial Statements, the group has not experienced any material impact arising from the impact of COVID-19 on its business.

On cash flows…

The group has also taken measures to enhance its liquidity. The CEO explained that it is moving its focus to enhance liquidity towards meeting possible contingencies.


“Having considered business performance, free cash flows, liquidity expectation for the next 12 months together with its other existing drawn and undrawn facilities, the group cancelled the remaining USD 1.2 billion New Airtel Africa Facility. As part of this evaluation, the group has further considered committed facilities of USD 814 million as of date authorisation of financial statements, which should take care of the group’s cash flow requirement under both base and reasonable worst-case scenarios.”

To this end, they have put in the required strategies to preserve its cash as its cash and cash equivalents, consequently, jumped by 19.1%.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: MTN says it has put strict measures in place to preserve resources)

Buying opportunity

Investors looking at this impressive result will be wondering if this portends a buying opportunity. Airtel Nigeria closed at N298 on Friday and has remained at this price for about a month. The stock is quite illiquid and is not readily available to buy.

It’s the price to earnings ratio of 4.56x makes it quite attractive. Further highlighting this opportunity is its price-to-book ratio which is as low as 0.5273, suggesting that the stock could be undervalued. Whether it is available to be bought, is anyone’s guess.





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Analysis: Nestlé strong but exposed.

Being a market leader is great, but in times of economic despair, it can quickly turn you into prey.



Why Nestle Nigeria’s return remains strong - EFG Hermes, Nestle Nigeria Plc appoints new Director, Nestle Plc: FY 2019 Revenue beats estimate; but profit underperforms

With about six decades of being the choice companion for families within Nigeria and the diaspora, Nestlé Nigeria Plc has positioned itself as one of the largest food and beverage companies on the continent. Owing to the expansive growth of Nigeria’s population – one projected to reach 300 million by the year 2030, as well as the growing middle class, the FMCG sector has a very positive outlook.

Consequently, Nestle’s leadership in the industry and its huge market size expectedly gives it a huge advantage. However, with the global economy barely racing against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, even the brimming FMCG sector will experience its own level of disruption.

Nestle’s recently released Q1 2020 financials reveal a revenue decline of 0.9%, as it dropped to a marginal ₦70.33 billion from the ₦70.97 billion turnover it garnered in Q1 2019. The profit before tax also experienced an 8.7% drop while the profit after tax had a 12.84% drop, both yielding ₦17.5 billion and ₦11.2 billion respectively, for the first quarter of this year. This is predominantly owing to its increased losses from its overseas activities.

READ ALSO: Italy to invest in Nigeria’s agric sector

The company procures all of its raw materials on a commercial basis from overseas and local suppliers; consequently, the percentage of its supplies dependent on international suppliers had a negative impact on its Q1 2020 financials. Its profits were plagued by a foreign exchange loss of ₦154.7 million from ₦18.9 million, an even higher loss of 720.6%. While the company did not disclose the value of its export revenue, we believe it too might have suffered from reduced exportation in the latter part of the quarter.

The group has since been taking on expansionary projects, such as its launch of a second beverage production plant in Ogun State in February of 2018. The company, on a continuous basis, explores the use of local raw materials in its production processes, contributing its own quota to the Nigerian economy.

READ MORE: Polaris Bank’s profit rises to N26.2 billion from N2.8 billion

Just last week, Nestlé’s stocks went up 2.56% to close at ₦1000, a price it still currently holds today after markets closed. Its price to earnings ratio is 18 and its earnings per share (EPS) of 55.54, signal an investor sentiment of confidence. However, its high price to book ratio of 13.9865 reveals that the company is slightly overvalued and its price of ₦1000 makes it attractive primarily to institutional investors that can afford to purchase large volumes of the stock enough to benefit from its steady growth in value. The company had proposed a dividend payout of ₦45 per share. This also comes after paying ₦25 per share interim dividends earlier. Its dividend yield at the time of writing this is 7%, further heightening the possibilities for the income investor.

Deal book 300 x 250

While the company has strong fundamentals governed predominantly by its position as a market leader, its years of experience, and its existence in the FMCG sector, it too might not have a smooth sail in the coming quarter. Its overseas business from both the supply and the demand sides are expected to experience a further decline, ultimately resulting in an even lower relative turnover and lower earnings.

READ MORE: Cadbury Nigeria reports N638.9 million profit for Q1 2020


We also expect the decline in average disposable income of Nigerians from loss of jobs and an overall wariness of the economic impact of the pandemic, to further drive down turnover; however, sound operational efficiencies and cost control/ profit strategies by the group could ease the burden. The company fundamentals remain strong but its exposure to consumer disposable income remains a major concern. There is always a cheaper alternative and when your pocket empties your choice for cheaper substitutes swells.

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