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Flour Mills Increases Dividend Payout by 30% as Revenue Hits N1.2trn

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Flour Mills HY earnings

By Dipo Olowookere

The board of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc is proposing to pay shareholders of the company a dividend of N2.15 per unit for its 2022 financial year, which ended on March 31, 2022. This amount is higher than the N1.65 paid in the previous accounting period, reflecting an increase in dividend payout by 30.3 per cent.

The firm, in its audited results released on Tuesday, said the year under review was profitable as the pre-tax profit jumped by 10.48 per cent to N41.1 billion from N37.2 billion, while the net profit appreciated by 8.95 per cent to N28.0 billion from N25.7 billion, with the earnings per share (EPS) at N6.26 compared with the previous year’s N6.38.

Analysis of the results revealed that in the fiscal year, Flour Mills posted an annual turnover of N1.2 trillion in contrast to the N771.6 billion achieved a year earlier and this was largely due to improvement in the earnings from the sale of goods. It also recorded a significant improvement in income from the services it rendered in the period under consideration as it accounted for N45.6 billion versus the N29.2 billion earned from the same income stream in 2021, which is mainly from support services.

From the revenue generated in FY 2022, the food business raked in N748.8 billion versus N478.3 billion last year, the agro-allied business, which involves the sale of Golden Penny Vegetable Oil, Soya Oil and Margarine products, the company generated N213.4 billion as against the N139.4 billion a year earlier, while the sugar arm of the organisation contributed N156.0 billion to the total earnings compared with the N124.6 billion in FY 2021.

However, Business Post observed that despite the 55.6 per cent increase in the gross earnings for the year, the gross profit only moved higher by 1.2 per cent to N108.1 billion from N106.8 billion.

This was largely due to the higher cost of sales as it finished the year at N1.1 trillion compared with the N664.9 billion in the previous year.

A chunk of this was the higher cost of raw and packing materials (N958.0 billion versus N583.6 billion in 2021), an increase in fuel and oil to N23.1 billion from N17.8 billion, a jump in factory repairs and maintenance to N16.1 billion from N11.8 billion and an increase in other production expenses to N12.5 billion from N8.6 billion.

A further look into the financial statements showed that Flour Mills was able to cut down its selling and distribution expenses to N11.1 billion from N12.1 billion, but the administrative costs rose to N31.8 billion from N29.1 billion, leaving the company with an operating profit of N65.5 billion in contrast to N52.2 billion in the previous accounting year.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Treasury Bills Rates Rise Across Tenors at Primary Market

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Treasury Bills CBN Sold

By Dipo Olowookere

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offered treasury bills to investors at attractive rates at the primary market auction (PMA) on Wednesday as the government intends to use the avenue to borrow more money from the local debt market.

The stop rates were increased by the apex bank across the three maturities offered for sale during the session, with the shortest end of the curve witnessing the highest jump.

According to an analysis of the sales, the 91-day bill cleared at 3.50 per cent, 0.70 per cent higher than the previous session’s stop rate of 2.80 per cent. The 182-day tenor was sold to traders at 4.50 per cent, 0.40 per cent higher than the 4.10 per cent offered at the preceding PMA, while the 364-day maturity cleared at 7.45 per cent, 0.45 per cent higher than the 7.00 per cent of the earlier exercise.

Business Post reports that the CBN, which auctioned the debt instruments for the Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of the federal government of Nigeria, offered for sale N150.62 billion worth of the T-Bills and it received subscriptions valued at N187.53 billion, with an allotment of N150.62 billion made at the end of the exercise.

A breakdown showed that N1.02 billion worth of the three-month bill was auctioned by the central bank but bids worth N1.80 billion were received and N1.15 billion issued to subscribers, with the range of bid rates between 2.70 per cent and 10.00 per cent.

As for the six-month instrument, N1.82 billion was taken to the market but the appetite for this maturity was low as subscriptions worth N1.69 billion were processed between 4.10 per cent and 7.00 per cent, but the apex bank sold N1.3 billion at 4.5 per cent.

It was observed that the strong demand for higher tenors, ostensibly because of the higher rates, continued during the exercise for the 12-month bill. The CBN approached the market with N147.78 billion worth of the instrument but the demand rose to N184.04 billion, with investors bidding between 6.00 per cent and 12.00 per cent. However, the bank issued N148.15 billion at 7.45 per cent.

This trend is expected to continue at the next PMA as investors shop for investment tools that will fetch them higher yields amid rising inflationary pressures eroding the gains from risk-free assets.

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Economy

Equity Exchange Loses N33bn Amid Low Turnover

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equity exchange

By Dipo Olowookere

The bears returned to the domestic equity exchange on Thursday after profit-taking in banking and consumer goods stocks shrank the trading indices by 0.12 per cent.

Business Post observed that the banking index shed 0.62 per cent as the consumer goods counter depreciated by 0.03 per cent, while the insurance and industrial goods sectors gained 0.61 per cent and 0.10 per cent respectively, with the energy index closing flat.

At the close of trades, the All-Share Index (ASI) depleted by 60.87 points to 50,014.60 points from 50,075.47 points, while the market capitalisation deflated by N33 billion to N26.976 trillion from N27.009 trillion.

The loss posted yesterday was heavily impacted by blue-chip stocks led by MTN Nigeria, Zenith Bank and others as the market breadth closed positive with 21 price gainers and 15 price losers led by ABC Transport, which fell by 6.67 per cent to 28 Kobo.

Jaiz Bank went down by 5.56 per cent to 85 Kobo, Stanbic IBTC declined by 3.28 per cent to N28.05, Caverton depreciated by 2.86 per cent to N1.02, while UBA lost 2.78 per cent to sell for N7.00.

The share price of NAHCO improved during the session by 10.00 per cent to N5.83 as FCMB appreciated by 9.84 per cent to N3.35. Ikeja Hotel gained 9.43 per cent to quote at N1.16, Multiverse grew by 9.22 per cent to N2.25, while Courteville increased its share value by 8.51 per cent to 51 Kobo.

The activity chart was mixed on Thursday as the day was marred by low turnover after the volume of transactions decreased by 52.16 per cent to 133.6 million units from the previous day’s 279.2 million units.

However, the trading value improved by 17.06 per cent to N2.4 billion from N2.1 billion, while the number of deals appreciated by 20.02 per cent to 4,292 deals from 3,576 deals.

UBA sold the highest volume of shares on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Thursday, 20.5 million units valued at N143.7 million and was closely followed by Chams, which sold 9.0 million units worth N2.8 million. Access Holdings transacted 8.2 million shares for N72.7 million, Japaul exchanged 7.4 million equities worth N2.9 million, while Jaiz Bank traded 7.1 million stocks valued at N6.2 million.

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Economy

Climate Disclosure Guidelines for Nigerian Stock Market Underway

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Climate Disclosure Guidelines

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Exchange Regulation (NGX RegCo) is working closely with its sister organisation, the NGX Limited, to design a dedicated set of Climate Disclosure Guidelines that will address climate change-related issues and serve as a complementary set of procedures to the NGX Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines.

The chief executive of NGX RegCo, Ms Tinuade Awe, dropped this hint recently at the 16th Annual International Business Law Conference hosted by the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) in Abuja.

At the event themed Recent Developments in the Business Law Environment, she said the rules, which will be developed in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, are currently in their formative stage, adding that the zero drafts would be published in a few months and public consultations for feedback to follow afterwards.

The capital market expert, who was speaking on ESG and the Nigerian Business Environment during a panel discussion, used the occasion to appeal to the public and private stakeholders to urgently prioritise the implementation of key national and global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) related regulations.

According to her, prioritising the implementation of key national and global ESG-related regulations will improve Nigeria’s ESG performance and reputation on the global stage and guarantee its contribution to the global development agenda such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

“The rapidly evolving global ESG landscape requires a deliberate partnership between all Nigerian public and private sector stakeholders who must embrace their responsibility to help create a sustainable future by being transparent in their approach to addressing ESG-related risks and opportunities, and their contribution towards sustainable development,” she added.

Ms Awe charged the Nigerian government to adopt initiatives that accelerate progress toward mandatory reporting on key ESG-related issues as well as climate-related reporting.

“These initiatives would ensure private and public sector companies become cognizant of global trends on climate-related reporting in line with leading guidance frameworks such as the TCFD recommendations as well as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) which has recently developed a comprehensive set of guidelines on general sustainability and climate-related disclosures to improve the availability of standardized, decision-useful non-financial data for the investment decision-making process,” she stated.

Concerning NGX RegCo’s contribution to the development and implementation of ESG regulation in Nigeria, she cited the 2019 NGX Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines which provide issuers with a step-by-step approach to integrating sustainability in their organisational activities and operations.

“These guidelines also provide guidance on best practice sustainability reporting that comply with global standards including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI),” Ms Awe said, noting that “NGX RegCo also played a leading role in developing the regulation for the development of Nigeria’s green bond market and other sustainable financial products that address environmental and social challenges affecting Nigeria along with the Federal Ministry of Environment, NGX Limited and other industry stakeholders.

“This was done in recognition of the climate finance needs particularly in Nigeria, and the urgent action required to combat climate change as enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the efforts culminated in the issuance of the maiden N10.69 billion ($25.8 million) 13.48% 5-year green bond in 2017.”

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