By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The year 2016 would go down as an annus horribilis in the annals of Nestlé Nigeria Plc as the company posted its lowest EPS (-67% YoY to N10) in eight years even as the stock price declined to multi-year lows as noted by ARM Securities in its earlier report.
According to ARM Securities, as with the broader economy, Nestlé’s result was weighed down by fall-out from the 53 percent Naira depreciation which cascaded into N16.3 billion in FX losses over 2016.
In addition, the expiration of tax holidays on its Agbara factory drove a 44pps YoY jump in effective tax rate to 63 percent.
Accordingly, Nestlé reported a weighty decline in dividend per share of N10.00 (-67% YoY) which translates to a dividend yield of 1.3% using last trading price.
Going into 2017, the key risk for Nestlé remains the sizeable FX exposure on its books which comprises FCY loans to its parent and trade payables.
In addition, continued rise in domestic grain prices, which drove gross margin pressures in 2016, poses downsides to earnings.
As earlier stated by ARM Securities, Nestlé booked N16.3 billion in FX losses, housed under finance expenses, following Naira depreciation over 2016.
The FX losses stemmed from sizable Dollar borrowings, which rose 27 percent YoY to $152 million (92% of total debt).
Nestlé noted that an illiquid FX market compelled the company to acquire a one-year $40 million loan1 from its parent company (Nestlé S.A) to address working capital needs.
Furthermore, Dollar paucity forced Nestlé to seek extended credit terms from related parties (+182% YoY to N38.6 billion) which underpinned the jump in trade payables to record levels
(+76.4% YoY to N64.7 billion).
Over FY 16, Nestlé paid $15.1 million to related parties as part repayment on FCY loans owed while cash rose four times to multi-year highs of N51.4 billion presumably being stockpiled to acquire needed FX for loan repayments of N38.3 billion due in 2016 and 2017.
As earlier stated, higher effective taxes over 2016, following the expiration of pioneer tax holiday on its on Flowergate factory at Agbara, piled more pressure on earnings. The development drove a steeper contraction in post-tax earnings (-67% YoY) relative to pre-tax (-25% YoY).
In addition to FX and taxation issues, Nestlé struggled with rising input costs as elevated West African demand for Nigerian grains, a by-product of naira weakness underpinned an upswing in prices of key inputs YoY (CPO: +250%, sorghum: +150%, Maize: +108%).
To combat input cost inflation (COGS: +27% YoY), Nestlé implemented price increases of 30%-40% across its product portfolio (particularly Maggi and Milo which comprise ~75% of revenue) which translated into double digit growth in revenues (+20.3% YoY) largely buoyed by its food segment (+25.4% YoY).
Nonetheless, relative to the inflation in grain prices, the price hikes paled in comparison, which resulted in gross margin compression to four-year lows of 41 percent.
Going into 2017, as with most FMCGs, Nestlé guides to pushing through further price hikes to offset the inflationary pressures. That said, softer real income levels2 should result in subdued volume growth and as such we see topline growth pulling back from the 2016 heights. Specifically, we look for a 14.5 percent YoY increases in sales to N208.3 billion as we think Nestlé’s defensive product portfolio and relatively better pricing power should help weather the macro headwinds to consumer purchasing power.
In terms of input costs, we expect grain prices to remain elevated over H1 2017 due to higher regional demand for domestic grains (such as maize and sorghum) on the back of relative weakness of the Naira (NGN) vis-à-vis other West African currencies. However, towards H2 2017, we expect regional demand for local grains to moderate as improving FX liquidity drives naira appreciation at the parallel market and reduces bargaining power of local suppliers.
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FrieslandCampina Boosts NASD OTC Bourse by 0.08% at Midweek
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed in the positive zone by 0.08 per cent on Wednesday, June 29 driven by a bullish price movement from FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc.
The milk-producing company appreciated during the midweek session by 99 Kobo or 1.03 per cent to settle at N96.79 per share compared with the previous closing price of N95.80 per share.
The NASD OTC bourse recorded a price loser and it was Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which depreciated by N6.21 or 3.14 per cent to N191.79 per unit from N198.00 per unit.
But the gains printed by FrieslandCampina offset the losses reported by NDEP as the market capitalisation expanded by N810 million to N1.005 trillion from N1.004 trillion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) increased by 0.62 points to wrap the session at 763.24 points compared with the 762.62 points recorded in the previous session.
Securities worth N10.1 million were bought and sold by traders at the market on Wednesday compared with the N1.8 million securities transacted a day earlier, indicating an increase of 462.5 per cent.
However, the volume of the securities went down by 18.9 per cent as investors traded only 72,550 units, 18.9 per cent lower than the 89,440 units transacted in the preceding session.
The transactions were carried out in 20 deals as against the 11 deals executed on the bourse on Tuesday, implying a decline of 81.8 per cent rise.
AG Mortgage Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 674.4 million units worth N14.1 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 146.5 million units valued at N127.2 million.
On the flip side, CSCS Plc was the most active stock by value (year-to-date) with 674.4 million units exchanged for N14.1 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 10.9 million units worth N3.2 billion, while FrieslandCampina Plc was in third place with 9.7 million units valued at N1.3 billion.
Crude Oil Drops as Economic Worries Offset Tighter Supply Signals
By Adedapo Adesanya
Prices of crude oil were in red on Wednesday as worries about a weaker global economy offset data showing a weekly drawdown in crude stockpiles, indicating supplies remained tight.
Investors are also worried a slowing economy could dent energy demand as central banks hike interest rates to battle inflation, causing the price of the Brent crude to fall yesterday by 1.75 per cent or $2.06 to $115.90 per barrel, with the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropping 1.98 per cent or $2.21 to $109.50 a barrel.
US crude inventories fell last week even as production hit its highest level since April 2020 during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even comments from the US central bank chief did nothing to quell the fear as prices went down.
The US Federal Reserve Chair, Mr Jerome Powell, announced that the economy would not be allowed to slip into a “higher inflation regime” even if it means raising interest rates to levels that put growth at risk.
The oil market had been propelled in the previous session as concerns over tight supplies due to Western sanctions on Russia outweighed fears that demand may slow in a potential future recession.
Analysts are concerned that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not have enough spare capacity to make up for the lost Russian supply.
French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron, said this week he was told these producers will struggle to increase output further.
However, the UAE energy minister said the country, which is producing about 3 million barrels per day, has some spare capacity above its OPEC quota of 3.17 million barrels per day.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies such as Russia, which form the OPEC+ group, began a series of two-day meetings on Wednesday and will hold its official meeting on Thursday.
There are no indications that there will be changes to the current level of output as was agreed earlier this month.
At its last meeting in early June, OPEC+ sped up production cuts and agreed to raise output each month by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, up from earlier increases of 432,000 barrels per day.
Naira Plunges to New Low at Spot Market, Trades N610/$1 at Parallel Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira on Wednesday, June 29 depreciated to its lowest level in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market.
Amid a biting forex crunch, the local currency fell by N3.88 or 0.80 per cent against the US Dollar to close at N424.88/$1 versus the N421.00/$1 it was sold on Tuesday despite a decline in the value of transactions at the spot market.
According to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, the turnover for the midweek session was $112.83 million, 45.4 per cent or $93.82 million lower than the turnover of $206.65 million published the day before.
Also, in the parallel market, the domestic currency reported a dismal performance against the greenback as it lost N1 to quote at N610/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N609/$1.
However, the value of the Naira to the Dollar remained unchanged at the Peer-to-Peer market window at N619/$1.
In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira appreciated against the British currency – the Pound Sterling and the Euro.
Against the Pound Sterling, it was strengthened by N3.91 to N505.91/£1 from N509.82/£1 and against the Euro, it gained N1.90 to settle at N437.59/€1 versus N439.49/€1 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, four of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post closed in the green territory, with the TerraClassicUSD (USTC) recovering more grounds as it traded higher by 59.9 per cent to $0.0691. Dogecoin (DOGE) rose by 5.4 per cent to trade at $0.0707, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 1.9 per cent to settle at $54.15, while Bitcoin (BTC) added 0.3 per cent to its value to close at $20,315.78.
However, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 4.7 per cent fall to sell at $221.44, Ethereum (ETH) depreciated by 3.7 per cent to $1,116.72, Solana (SOL) decreased by 3.6 per cent to $34.68, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.9 per cent slide to sell for $0.3329, Cardano (ADA) dropped 0.2 per cent to trade at $0.4722, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) moved downwards by 0.02 per cent to $0.9989.
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