A profit decline worth over N600 million within a 1-year period is more than enough to throw any concerned shareholder in a frenzy. Sadly, this is the reality for Conoil Plc, according to its latest unaudited earnings report.
The company’s Q1 2020 result seemed impressive, with about N260 million worth of profit after tax (PAT) reported. Ideally, this ought to have been a sign of good performances for the subsequent quarters of the year. Unfortunately, this hasn’t quite been the case.
The appalling nature of the second quarter (Q2) results was partly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the recent reduction in fuel pump price by the federal government. As you may well know, the virus hit Nigeria at the start of April 2020, thereby ushering Q2 economic activities and operations into a compulsory lockdown. These notwithstanding, no one could have anticipated a revenue plunge 70% deep in the span of 6 months between Q1 and Q2.
Conoil Plc has an impressive reputation as a market leader playing in Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sector. Due to the company’s positioning in the downstream sector, it is seldom directly affected by events in the often volatile global oil market… until now.
The Nigeria-based company was also hit hard when the federal government decided to allow market forces to determine the price of the pump in the country. The price was reduced to 125p/ltr from 145 p/ltr in late March this year. This contributed to the derisory N19.3 billion posted as Q2 revenue.
The oil giant is in the business of marketing, distributing, and manufacturing under three business products, representing its operating segments. They market refined petroleum products and manufacture lubricants and household Liquified petroleum gas (LPGs) for domestic and industrial use. The three segments; White products (PMS, DPK, LPFO AGO), Lubricants, and Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), individually and respectively experienced poor turnover in Q2.
Conoil’s recently released financial statement exposes arguably its worst Q2 figure in a couple of years, with Profit after tax (PAT) standing at a paltry N78.3 million. This pales significantly in comparison to Q1 PAT figure of N260 million representing a colossal 70% negative change and an 88.9% decline when compared to Q2 of 2019 with PAT of N707 million.
Revenue for the H1 peaks at N57.5 billion (although comparatively way below H1 2019 at N72 billion YoY) with Q2 Contributing a meager 16% N19.3 billion. Fundamental analysis of the financials, exposes that the sporadic shrink in turnover for Q2 could be attributable to these two major reasons. Firstly, the general lull in economic activities sponsored by the COVID-19 pandemic. This affected CONOIL’s marketable segment, halving the sales figures for white products by approximately 50% from N36.5 billion to N18 billion in Q1 & Q2 respectively. Manufactured lubricants also experienced a 7.7% dip in Q2 at N1.2 billion from N1.7 billion in Q1. The second cause as hitherto stated was the reduction in fuel pump price N145 to N125, for the first time since 2016.
The impact of such a decline in revenue is humongous. It questions the company’s ability to effectively service its debt obligations in the next quarter as well as providing adequate cover for its cost of sales and other expenses.
Investors are reputed to be ruthless pragmatics who accord more importance to the fine-prints than selling price when making purchasing decisions. Thus they often would place emphasis on the statement of cash flow as opposed to the income statement.
Conoil must stay aware and strive in Q3 to maintain a positive net cash position since Q1 & Q2 bear negative balances of N2billion and N1.2billion respectively. Negative cash flow is always a worrying omen. With current ratio for Q2 at 1.47:1 indicating the Oil giant’s relatively unconvincing ability to comfortably settle its liquidity problems if they arise.
Dangote Cement incurs N97 billion taxes in 2020
The cement giant incurred its taxes on record.
One of Nigeria’s largest indigenous companies and the largest by market capitalization incurred a company income tax of N97 billion for the financial year ended December 2020.
This s according to the information contained in its full-year audited financial statements for the period under review.
Why this matters?
Dangote Cement has enjoyed Pioneer Status over the years and has often been criticized for not paying enough taxes despite its mega-profits.
- The N97 billion incurred in 2020 is the highest company income tax reported by Dangote Cement since it became listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
- It incurred N49 billion in taxes in 2019 and got a tax credit of N89.5 billion in 2018.
- Despite incurring N97 billion in taxes during the year, Dangote Cement’s actual tax paid was just N20.9 billion in 2020 compared to N4.6 billion paid a year earlier.
- Tax incurred in the profit and loss statement is an accounting provision and is not always the actual tax paid in cash.
- Putting it into context, the dividend paid during the year is N272 billion and interest payments to its creditors totals N48.2 billion.
Improved Cement Revenues
Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Cement Giant reported full-year revenue of N1 trillion, the highest it has ever recorded since it was privatized almost 20 years ago. The company also reported a profit before tax of N373.3 billion only and a profit after tax of N276 billion, its highest since 2018.
Nigeria like most countries in the world has faced a challenging 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, especially the private sector. However, mega-corporations like Dangote Cement appear to have even performed better during the year. The cement industry in general also appears to have performed well during the year as the combined revenue of the top 3, Dangote Cement, Lafarge, and BUA rose to N1.47 trillion from N1.28 trillion.
The impressive result nonetheless, Dangote Cement’s margins remained strong during the year posting a gross profit margin of 57% in line with its 3-year averages. However, the higher taxes incurred in 2020 dropped profit margins to 26.7%. When compared to 2018 when it still enjoyed Pioneer status, the company posted profit margins of about 43%.
Dangote Sugar yearly revenue surge by 33%, announces a dividend of N1.50
Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. recently declared a 33.0% Year to year growth in earnings to N29.8 billion for the financial year of 2020
Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc via the Nigerian Stock exchange recently declared a 33.0% Year to year growth in earnings to N29.8 billion for the financial year of 2020
The company also announced a dividend of N1.50 (vs N1.10 total dividend in 2019).
Dangote Sugar’s revenue expanded by 33.0% YoY amid strong volume growth in its 50 kg sugar offering (c.96.0% of total sales).
The company’s impressive outing amazed a significant number of stock pundits despite a surge in tax charges which partially offset some of the positive passthrough from border closures on earnings.
Gross margin expanded by 1.31ppts Year to Year to 25.08%, which points to the effects of recent cost-containment measures and the slump in global raw sugar prices in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The raw sugar price dropped to as low $0.09/lb in 2020 and traded c.$0.13/lb on average during 2020 (-4.38% YoY)
What you should know: Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (the Company) was incorporated as a Public Limited Liability Company on 4 January 2005, commenced operation on 1 January 2006, and became quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in March 2007.
Its current shareholding is 68% by Dangote Industries Limited and 32% by the Nigerian public.
The principal activity of the Group is the refining of raw sugar into edible sugar and the selling of refined sugar. The Group’s products are sold through distributors across the country.
That being said, in spite of such impressive results from the N217 billion valued company experienced a surge in operational cost partly due to persistent FX scarcity.
Dangote Sugar reported a four-fold increase in finance cost, which can be largely attributed to the foreign exchange loss in its ordinary business operations, driven by persistent FX shortages and naira repricing at the exchange rate windows.
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