Unilever Nigeria released its unaudited report for the period ended 30th September 2020. The Company recorded Turnover of N17.4 billion in the period under review. This represents a 21% increase compared to the previous Quarter 2 2020 and a 94% increase compared to N8.9bn recorded for the corresponding period, Q3 2019.
While the result shows the company recorded loss after tax of N1.5bn for the quarter ended 30th September 2020 representing a 49% improvement when compared to loss after tax N3.0bn recorded for the quarter ended 30th September 2019.
A precursory analysis of the firm’s quarter results indicates that revenue went up 93.9% to N17.39 billion from N8.97 billion in the same period in 2019.
The firm experienced significant revenue growth in two market segments, specifically Food products and Home and Personal Care. A close look reveals that revenue from Food Products rose to N9.83 billion from N5. 32 billion last year, while Home and Personal Care revenue climbed to N7.57 billion from N3.65 billion.
The progress that Unilever Nigeria Plc recorded is better appreciated when placed side by side with how its key competitor fared.
Consider that Unilever had a 25.1% q/q growth in food revenue relative to a decline of 16.1% for Nestle Plc. This performance implies that Unilever increased market share while Nestlé’s shrunk during the quarter. This may be indicative of the positive effects of the efforts of the new management.
Some analysts while acknowledging the challenging environment in which companies operated in this year would like to see the company go back to an enviable position of profit. It is acknowledged that this will be a mean feat, with all the foreign exchange and trade restrictions experienced by many companies within the country.
In 2020, beyond the usual vicissitudes of life, coronavirus (COVID 19) happened. Declared a pandemic by the WHO, it has precipitated widespread multisectoral disruption, tasked the global health system, and sparked unprecedented economic upheaval.
As the pandemic raged across the globe, manufacturing hubs shut down, governments enforced restriction of movement and billions of people were placed on lockdown. News reports from across the globe indicated that businesses have gone belly up, countries went bowl in hand seeking handouts and loans and individuals were content to simply mark themselves “safe”.
According to the World Bank Nigeria’s economy is projected to contract by about 4 per cent in 2020. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 stood at 27.1 per cent indicating that about 21,764,614 Nigerians remain unemployed. Inflation figure in September 2020 was creeping close to 14 per cent. This was the economic reality when Unilever Nigeria released its unaudited report for the period ended 30th September 2020.
With the pandemic, the lockdown and the recent social unrest taking its tow on the economy and many businesses in the country, it is hoped that Unilever Nigeria will remain focused on its strategy to deliver sustainable growth remaining true to its past optimism of growing the business both in the medium and long term, with clear emphasis on operational efficiency and cost optimization, increasing market share across key categories and improved route-to-market.
Meristem presents Outlook for 2021 titled ‘Bracing for a different future’
Meristem for the past 16 years has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space.
Meristem Securities Limited, a leading capital market conglomerate has recently launched its economic outlook report for the year 2021. The outlook report titled ‘Bracing for a Different Future’ highlighted in depth a wide range of issues relevant to an evolving future. With a global economy that has been scarred by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic economy was not left out, as the Nigeria economy slipped back into a recession, amplifying the structural weakness of the domestic economy in the form of weakening exchange rates, rising inflation, among others.
In Meristem’s H2:2020 Outlook: “Unmasking Value in a Scourge”, Meristem had warned that the threat of a second wave of new infections was very much a possibility. As a result, the recovery of economic activities would remain fragile until a vaccine is developed. Hence, much would depend on strict compliance with social distancing and healthcare measures as economies gradually re-opened. The Deputy Managing Director of Meristem, Sulaiman Adedokun, stated that while the rising number of daily infections pose a threat to economic activities, we expect a rebound of the domestic economy”.
Launching the outlook “Bracing the future” during a webinar attended by institutional investors, corporate clients, retail investors amongst other industry professionals, Sulaiman also commented on the equities market highlighting that “The equities market recovered from deep selloffs to finish as the best performing equities market last year, citing unattractive yields in the fixed income market, excess liquidity and a resilient corporate performance in the middle of a pandemic as major factors which drove the market.” “We expect these factors to persist thereby sustaining the positive momentum of the market through the better part of the year; in the first half of the year, we expect the financial market to be dominated by attractive dividend yields and the low yield in the fixed income market,” Sulaiman added.
The face of work has changed and many corporate organizations and their employees are rapidly adopting cutting-edge technology to meet the future of work in a COVID-19 era. While fielding questions from journalists about how the organization has deployed its business continuity plan, Sulaiman expressed that “The pandemic has influenced changes amongst people globally and we have enabled this change in our organization by utilizing the power of technology, we have also adopted a work from home culture that enables team collaboration through technology, we intend to maintain this even beyond the pandemic.”
Meristem offers a wide a range of services that cater to all classes of investors regardless of the stage in their financial journey, services like stockbroking, wealth management and financial advisory help clients to access various opportunities within the capital market. Via Meritrade, an online stockbroking platform, investors can trade stocks from anywhere around the world as well as better manage their shares and enjoy access to the most exclusive market research.
Meristem for the past 16 years has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space. In 2018, the Nigerian Stock Exchange awarded Meristem as the Best Digital Broker of the Year. In the same year, Meristem also became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute. Still, in 2018, Meristem received two nominations from Business Day, for the best Money market Fund and Equity Fund.
The firm has remained a leading player in Nigeria’s competitive investment market with a solid reputation as a highly professional and client-centric firm, helping to take their clients farther.
Tizeti rolls out high-speed 4G LTE in Edo with N4000/month broadband service
Tizeti is rolling out its 4G LTE network in Edo State, with monthly fixed broadband costs pegged at four thousand Naira ($8).
As part of its commitment to ensuring access to affordable broadband connectivity in Africa’s underserved populations, Tizeti, West Africa’s pioneer solar-based internet service provider is rolling out its 4G LTE network in Edo State, with monthly fixed broadband costs pegged at four thousand Naira ($8). With this move, millions of people in Edo State previously outside the broadband envelope can now take advantage of high-speed broadband internet from Tizeti.
Announcing the rollout of its new low-cost unlimited 4G services in Edo, the Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, Kendall Ananyi, said that this 4G broadband internet will empower more Nigerians in Edo State, stimulate economic activities and provide unlimited access to affordable and reliable broadband services as well as complement the Edo State Government’s efforts in driving investment promotion and building a robust technology ecosystem in the state.
“Rolling out 4G LTE broadband internet in Edo at the cheapest fixed broadband prices in Nigeria, and possibly Africa, is a strategic decision for us. We have been building brand-new, solar-powered, 4G-capable towers in Edo, starting with Benin City, which leverages Edo State’s expansive fiber-network built by some of our partners, MainOne and Facebook. Edo State has a large population of vibrant, young people and a high number of higher institutions, which provides a foundation for a robust and thriving ecosystem to enable digital leadership. And the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is implementing reforms in investment promotion and determination to build a robust technology ecosystem in the state, with an agenda that prioritizes Information Communication Technology (ICT)-compliant pedagogy in primary schools, improves digital skills for students and graduates and revamps technical education to increase productivity. This has created a perfect environment for us to roll out our low-cost broadband service, starting in Edo State, but with plans to expand across the country over the next few months,” Ananyi said.
Corroborating Ananyi, Tizeti’s Chief Operating Officer, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, states, “The launch in Edo State is personal to us as founders of Tizeti because we are alumni of the University of Benin. At 4,000 Naira monthly costs with a one-off installation cost of 4,000 Naira, we believe the plan is affordable, especially to undergraduate students. This provides a huge opportunity for people in Edo to benefit from unlimited broadband internet for use in online learning, eCommerce and entertainment, especially interactive games, video consumption, and music”.
Interested users in Edo State can pre-sign up at https://wifi.com.ng/edostate/; installations are expected to commence in Benin City on April 1st, 2021.
For many countries in Africa, there is still a huge digital divide. This boundary between connected and unconnected translates into clear consequences for employment, education, family and social life, and access to information. According to the World Wide Web Foundation, ensuring fast internet in Africa will enable billions more to come online, and to take advantage of the life-changing socio-economic opportunities that access to the Internet provides. Companies like Tizeti are playing a significant role in addressing the digital infrastructure deficits in Africa with innovative technology and capabilities, to improve development outcomes for millions of people.
Tizeti currently has 1.7 million unique users, with broadband services which include a new Skype-like personal and business enterprise communications service — WiFiCall.ng, and access to video streaming sites and services.
Tizeti is a fast-growing Wireless Internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria, delivering high-speed unlimited Wi-Fi Internet access to residential and business customers using wide-area Wi-Fi. Its services are available in Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers State. It is also expanding rapidly to other African countries as it has been successfully launched in Accra and Tema, Ghana.
Kinyungu Ventures Research calls for changes to cut-and-paste VC strategy in Africa
The Paper recommends investment structures and approaches tailored to African operating conditions.
East African venture advisory firm, Kinyungu Ventures has published a white paper Chasing Outliers: Why Context Matters for Early Stage Investing in Africa that has found that there continues to be a wide misalignment between traditional venture capital models and the African market. The team behind the report is now calling for a broadening of approaches to institutional investment on the continent. Speaking with 100 Pan-African founders, investors, and LPs across 15 African countries, the research suggests investors should prioritize investing structures and practices that reflect the realities of operating in Africa. This includes adopting more flexible investing structures with longer time horizons.
According to the paper, there are multiple mismatches between key characteristics of Silicon Valley VC and African markets, which influence how startups and funds maneuver as well as what results they expect and produce. Findings show that African markets are large, but also fragmented, and its consumers have limited purchasing power. Furthermore, consumers on the continent are difficult to acquire and retain, yet the sheer size of the African market also presents a real opportunity for profit once the environment is clearly understood. The paper’s key recommendations for funds include:
- Adopting more focused investment strategies, such as investing in b2b companies or cross-subsidizing a portfolio with less risky, steady return assets.
- Considering non-unicorn investing models geared at more resilient companies, with returns distributed more widely across the portfolio
- Using flexible structures such as debt or PCVs to accommodate market-level changes, where feasible
- Allowing a longer time horizon for returns, understanding that growth could be slow and difficult to achieve for many companies
Kinyungu Ventures catalyzes resilient businesses for local intergenerational prosperity. The East African-centric investor focuses on entrepreneurship in East Africa, startups, seed funding, debt financing, impact investing and angel investing.
Speaking on the launch of the white paper, Tony Chen, Managing Director of Kinyungu Ventures and co-publisher of the report says, “Capital in Africa is scarce and pursuing a “growth at all costs” strategy where capital pools are shallow presents huge risks for companies. We’ve also found that many great businesses don’t fit the typical VC profile, but have tremendous unfulfilled potential”.
Tayo Akinyemi, lead researcher and writer of the report added: “In our conversations with numerous investors and founders, it is clear that nuances in variables such as consumer behavior, cultural norms, and business practices impact startups significantly and being on the ground is crucial for success. While African markets aren’t always able to provide the outsized returns that Silicon Valley typically looks for in high-growth companies, a more focused strategy here could unlock real gems, as has been proven by some of the startup successes the continent has seen over the years.”