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Companies

Livestock Feeds: How this company survived over half a century producing animal feed

Livestocks Feeds Plc is going to need to up its ante, if it hopes to last another 50 years.

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Livestock Feeds: How this company survived over half a century producing animal feed

There are many companies in Nigeria some people may never know are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Even though they carry out equally important economic activities like the more popular ones, these companies are often overshadowed by the bigger names, particularly the NSE 30.

Another reason some small-cap companies are not quite popular is because they are not always in the news. Even when they are, they do not ruffle as much feathers as their bigger counterparts.

Despite their relative obscurity, some of these companies have been around for quite a while, carrying out their businesses, making money, expanding operations, and recruiting when the need arises. One of such companies – Livestocks Feeds Plc – is the focus of this week’s Nairametrics company profile.

While UAC of Nigeria plc is generally known to be a household brand in providing consumables (food, snacks and dairies), the company has a subsidiary dedicated to manufacturing healthy and nutritional products for animals.

The subsidiary – Livestock feeds plc – was established in 1963, and has survived almost 60 years producing feeds for poultry, pigs, and cattle. Its products range from Chick mash, Aquamax fish feed, layer mash, grower mash, Broiler starter, Broiler finisher.

Business model

Incorporated in 1963, the initial aim of this company was to address the importations of such feed-products into Nigeria by Germans and Dutch.

It started out with its first 5MT/hr was installed in Ikeja, and in subsequent years, a 4MT/Hr mill was installed in Aba, and then 3.5MT/hr installed in Kaduna. Due to population growth and increased urbanisation, there was an increase in the demand for poultry products, directly impacting the demand for feeds. To keep up, the company upgraded the milling output to 10MT/hr automatic machines at Ikeja, Aba and Benin city between 1983 and 1985.

On April 1, 1978, the company was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Livestock has further expanded capacity over the years and even explored the Franchise business marketing system during its boom period, when it had more than half of the Nigerian market share for animal feed.

Over the years, the company has modified its business model to compete favourably with new entrants into the market. Livestocks feeds now adds delivery services to its customers, bringing the products (poultry, pig, and cattle rations, meat cubes, and pallets) to them in regular rations or customised rations based on the clients need.

Ownership and management

In the mid to late 90s, Pfizer divested its interest in Livestocks feeds and it was immediately acquired by Adset Limited through an MBO. By the turn of the century, First Capital Trust Limited replaced Adset Limited as the core investor in the revitalised company, and Cashcraft Asset Management became the 2nd largest shareholder.

Adegboyega Adedeji is currently the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer while the company’s board of directors is headed by Joseph Ibrahim Dada who is the chairman. Abayomi Adeyemi Enitan, and Godwin Abimbola Samuel Esq. as Executive Directors, while Adebolanle Badejo and Daniel Obaseki are non-executive directors.

Focus on the company’s financials

Although the company’s financials is not in the red, shareholders have not had good reasons to smile in recent years. In fact, the company’s financial statement available on the NSE website shows that dividends were last paid in 2015. Since the 2014 financial year, the company has not again declared dividends for shareholders.

Debt to asset ratio as at Q1 2020 was put at 29.75% with total assets of N4.38 billion and Total liabilities of N2.77 billion.

In 2019, Livestocks Feeds Plc total revenue increased to N9,955,222 (N9.9 million) from  N7,834,018 (N7.8 million) in 2018. The company also recorded Profit after taxation 106,353 in 2019 as against its loss of 620,311 in 2018.

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READ: Many Nigerians are trooping into foreign stock markets

Though this indicates a gradual improvement in its financials, the company is still far from declaring sufficient profits to declare dividend payout. The year 2020 has also come with a new myriad of challenges, which most businesses did not factor into their plans.

Even large companies may not find it easy declaring dividends for shareholders, so it is even more uncertain for the small-cap companies.

Share capitalisation has remained 1.5 million in the last couple of years, with a total of 2.9 billion (2,999,999,418) units of shares, and total equity of 1,569,592 at the end of 2019.

READ: Why Cadbury might be a long “Hold”

Competition

Has it been all sunshine and roses for Livestocks feeds? Certainly not!

The company has had to re-tweak its model and strategy repeatedly in view of new competitors entering the market. Most of its competition are not listed companies in the NSE, but still manage to capture a small part of the market, completely eroding what was once a near-monopoly for the company.

Olam Group, Premier feed mills, Flour mills Nigeria, and Durante feeds are some of the hundreds of companies that have formed the competition for Livestocks feeds over the years.

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However, there is still a large market out there. Nigeria has not yet attained poultry sufficiency, and statistics claim that over half of Nigerian poultry consumption are still imported. More individuals and businesses are venturing into animal husbandry by the day, and they will need tons of animal feeds to get going.

Livestocks feeds plc is going to need to up its ante, if it hopes to last another 50 years.

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career.As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Companies

First Bank’s board replacement won’t affect profitability – Fitch

CBN’s remedial actions will not have a material effect on the group’s asset quality, profitability and capitalisation.

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Fitch Ratings has affirmed that the recent First Bank board replacement will not affect the bank’s profitability and asset quality, as it rates the bank at B- with a negative outlook.

This was disclosed by the rating firm via a statement seen by Nairametrics.

According to the rating firm, the development reflects its view that the impact of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s replacement of FBNH and FBN Ltd boards, the identification of corporate governance failings and the imposition of corrective measures are tolerable at the rating level.

What Fitch is saying

It stated, “We have assessed the near-term financial impact of these actions on FBNH and FBN and believe this is tolerable at the rating level, even though the final outcome is uncertain. In our view, any remedial actions imposed by the CBN, including a potential reclassification of related-party exposures as impaired, will not have a material effect on the group’s asset quality, profitability and capitalisation.

However, this does not consider any possible additional actions by the CBN, especially if FBN fails to implement the regulator’s corrective measures or if there were any further uncovering of corporate governance irregularities.

The Outlook remains Negative, reflecting FBNH’s pre-existing asset quality and capitalisation weaknesses as well as the group’s corporate governance weaknesses highlighted by the CBN. These could put pressure on the ratings.”

What drives First Bank’s rating

FBNH is the non-operating holding company that owns FBN. FBNH’s ratings are aligned with those of FBN (which represents around 90% of consolidated group assets) due to high capital and liquidity fungibility within the group, and low double leverage (at 95% at end-1H20) at the holding company level.

It added that FBNH’s IDR is driven by its intrinsic creditworthiness, as defined by its ‘b-‘ Viability Rating (VR). The rating, according to Fitch, considers the group’s exposure to Nigeria’s volatile operating environment and also factors in vulnerability in its capital position in the context of moderate earnings generation and asset-quality pressures, where headroom above the minimum regulatory capital requirements is also moderate. Capitalisation is a factor of high importance to VR.

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“The new boards appointed to FBNH and FBN comprise individuals with sufficient experience and expertise. However, we view such major change as hugely disruptive. There are no changes in FBNH and FBN’s executive management team.

“We believe the governance shortcomings cited by the CBN reflect poorly on FBNH’s reputation and on the group’s governance and control practices. As a result, we have revised down our assessment of FBNH’s Management and Strategy score to ‘b-‘ from ‘b’.

“We also assigned a negative outlook to this factor, which reflects the uncertainty surrounding additional remedial actions that the CBN may impose due to these related party exposures as well as the potential for further uncovering of governance irregularities. It also captures the lack of track record of the new board and its ability to restore confidence in FBNH and FBN,” it added.

Asset quality remains a rating weakness. FBNH reported an improved impaired loan ratio of 7.9% at end-1Q21 (end-2020: 7.7%). However, FBNH’s reported reserve coverage of 54.5% at end-1Q21 (end-2020: 48%) remains significantly weaker than domestic peers’.

“Our assessment indicates that if the related-party loan highlighted by the CBN were classified as impaired, the ratio would be unlikely to be above 10% (excluding any new impaired loan generation from ordinary business),” Fitch added.

What you should know

On 29 April 2021, the CBN removed the non-executive directors on the boards of FBNH and FBN and replaced them with new individuals appointed by the apex bank, according to Nairametrics.

The CBN gave a series of reasons for its action including the unjustified and unapproved change of the bank’s MD/CEO by the former board, corporate governance failings pertaining to long-standing insider loans that were affecting the bank’s capitalisation and failure to comply with regulatory directives.

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Appointments

Airtel Nigeria announces appointment of Surendran as new Chief Executive Officer

Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new MD/CEO with effect from August 1, 2021.

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Like MTN, is Airtel Nigeria considering listing?

Telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from August 1, 2021.

Surendran would be replacing the outgoing Managing Director and Chief Executive of Airtel Nigeria, Olusegun Ogunsanya, who has been elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc with effect from October 1, 2021.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by Airtel on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Lagos.

READ: Airtel Africa signs new $500 million loan with Bank of America, HSBC, others

The statement says that Surendran would also be appointed to the Executive Committee (ExCo) as Regional Operating Director, reporting to the CEO of Airtel Africa plc, and onto the Board of Airtel Networks (Nigeria) Limited.

Airtel in its statement said, “Surendran has been with Bharti Airtel since 2003 and has contributed immensely in various roles across customer experience, sales and business operations.

He was the Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka, which is the largest circle in Airtel India, with over one billion dollars in revenue.

Surendran delivered an exceptional performance with significant movement in Revenue Market Share (RMS) over the last few years, currently at 54 percent. He has over 30 years of business experience, including 15 years at Xerox.’’

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Airtel said that Surendran would transition into his new role from June 1, 2021, and spend the time onboarding into the business until July 31, 2021.

READ: Meet the latest billionaires on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

In case you missed it

It can be recalled that a few days ago, Airtel Africa Plc, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Nigeria and 13 other countries, announced the appointment of Mr Olusegun Ogunsanya as the new Chief Executive Officer, following the notice of retirement given by the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava, to the Board.

In the notification sent by Airtel Africa to the Nigerian Exchange, Ogunsanya is expected to join the board of Airtel Africa with effect from October 1, 2021.

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