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UAC Nigeria Gets N3.6bn Shares of UPDC REIT

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UAC Nigeria UACN

By Dipo Olowookere

One of the shareholders of UACN Property Development Company (UPDC), UAC Nigeria, has been allocated 649 million units of UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) stocks worth N3.6 billion.

Recall that in 2020, UPDC, as part of the process its restructuring process, unbundled its holdings in UPDC REIT and made allocations to all its shareholders, including its parent company, UAC Nigeria Plc.

UPDC had explained that the initiative was to maximise returns to its shareholders by providing direct access to the steady and regular dividend distributions of UPDC REIT.

This deal and a few others had an impact in UAC Nigeria in the 2020 financial year.

Also, recall that last year, UAC Nigeria struck a deal with Custodian Investment Plc for the transfer of 51 per cent stake in UPDC, reducing its stake to 42.85 per cent. UAC Nigeria received N6.6 billion in cash proceeds from the transactions.

“In December 2020, UAC received 649 million units of UPDC REIT, valued at N3.6 billion as part of the partial exit from UPDC.

“This is in addition to the N6.6 billion received in H2 2020 for the sale of a 51 per cent stake in UPDC,” the Group Managing Director of UAC Nigeria, Mr Fola Aiyesimoju, stated.”

“We benefited from N1.2 billion in non-recurring gains from investments in associates, MDS Logistics Limited and UPDC,” Mr Aiyesimoju added.

Last year, the revenue generated by UAC Nigeria increased 3.0 per cent to N81.6 billion from N79.2 billion supported by sales growth in the Animal Feeds & Other Edibles segment (4.6 per cent), the Packaged Food & Beverages segment (1.8 per cent) and the Quick Service Restaurant Segment (1.9 per cent).

These segments were deemed essential services during the period of stringent restrictions to the movement of people and goods to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

However, the gross profit dropped 5.5 per cent to N15.7 billion from N16.6 billion due to limited sales during the strictest phase of the lockdown in April and May, higher input costs, and distribution expenses.

At the end of the year, the profit after tax from continuing operations decreased to N3.8 billion, from N5.3 billion a year earlier, while the total profit closed at N4.3 billion in contrast to the N9.3 billion loss reported in FY 2019, with the earnings per share (EPS) at N1.06 in 2020 versus the negative N1.83 in 2019.

In his reaction to the performance of the company last year, Mr Aiyesimoju said, “FY 2020 was challenging, with operational disruptions related to COVID-19 and #EndSARS protests.”

He noted that the team “focused on executing our strategy, implementing initiatives relating to UPDC, significantly reducing leverage and increasing cash, strengthening management, and driving profitability.”

“Operating performance for the year was negatively impacted by the aforementioned disruptions as well as input cost escalation. Our efforts resulted in net income of N4.3 billion in 2020.

“In the fourth quarter, our businesses rebounded and profit after tax increased 136 per cent to N2.4 billion (N1.4 billion, adjusting for non-recurring items) from N1.0 billion in 2019, supported by cost management initiatives that reduced operating expenses by N1.4 billion (30 per cent),” he added.

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

FG to Make TIN Compulsory for Bank Account Holders

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Africa's Tax Revenue

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

From 2022, bank account holders in Nigeria will likely have to obtain a tax identification number (TIN) to operate as the Finance Bill sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to make it mandatory.

This move, according to observers, is to expand the tax net of the country in the midst of shrinking revenue and make the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) pay tax to the government.

In his lead debate on Wednesday, the Senate Leader, Mr Yahaya Abdullahi, said the bill, when passed and signed, will make financial institutions request for TIN from customers for them to operate new and existing accounts.

“Banks will be required to request for Tax Identification Number before opening bank accounts for individuals while existing account holders must provide their TIN to continue operating their accounts,” he disclosed.

According to him, “Going forward, we hope that changes to the tax laws will be on an annual basis to ensure that Nigeria’s tax system continues to evolve in line with economic conditions.”

The lawmaker further said the bill intends to make it an offence to refuse to deduct tax.

“This penalty is 10 per cent of the tax not deducted, plus interest at the prevailing monetary policy rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“The conditions attached to tax exemption on gratuities have been removed. Therefore gratuities are unconditionally tax exempt.

“The duties currently performed by the Joint Tax Board as relates to administering the Personal Income Tax Act will now be performed by the Federal Inland Revenue service.

“This seems to be an error in the process of amendments to replace the word “Board” as it appears in Federal Board of Inland Revenue,” Mr Abdullahi stated.

He also said the bill made electronic mails as the only channel that tax authorities would accept as a formal means of correspondence with taxpayers and concerning the late filing of Value Added Tax (VAT), the fine has been raised to N50,000 for the first month and N25,000 for subsequent months of failure.

“The penalty for failure to register for VAT is reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default.

“The penalty for failure to notify FIRS of change in company address to be reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default.

“This penalty also covers failure to notify FIRS of permanent cessation of trade or business.,” he said.

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Economy

Unlisted Stocks Languish in Red Zone after 0.25% Fall Wednesday

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unlisted stocks

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange extended its stay in the bearish zone on Wednesday, December 8 as the trio of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, NASD Plc, and Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc compounded its woes by 0.25 per cent.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc depreciated by N1 or 0.9 per cent at the midweek session to settle at N110.80 per share in contrast to the preceding day’s value of N111.80 per share.

It was followed by NASD Plc, which closed at N27.00 per unit compared with the previous day’s N27.15 per unit, indicating a decline of 15 kobo or 0.6 per cent.

On its part, CSCS Plc declined yesterday by 9 kobo or 0.5 per cent to close the session at N16.91 per share in contrast to N17 per share of the previous session.

The losses posted by these unlisted stocks chopped off N1.49 billion from the market capitalisation of the bourse during the session to close the day at N602.96 billion versus N604.45 billion it ended on Tuesday.

In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) closed lower by 1.8 points to wrap the session at 729.82 points compared with 731.62 points of the previous session.

At the market on Wednesday, there was an increase in the volume of securities traded by investors and this was by 168.9 per cent as 1.9 million units of stocks exchanged hands compared with the earlier day’s 694,849 units of securities.

In the same vein, the value of shares traded at the midweek amounted to N37.9 million, which by evaluation is 72.5 per cent higher than the N22.0 million posted on Tuesday.

All these transactions were executed in 14 deals, according to data from the exchange, 12.5 per cent lower than the 16 deals carried out at the preceding day.

Food Concepts Plc closed the day as the most active stock by volume (year-to-date) for selling 11.4 billion units for N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Services Plc has traded 1.1 billion for N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc has sold 1.0 billion units for N700.1 million.

Also, Food Concepts Plc finished the day as the most active stock by value (year-to-date) with a turnover of 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, which is no longer on the platform maintained its second spot with 456.5 million units worth N9.2 billion, while the third spot was taken by VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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Economy

Naira Trades Flat at I&E as Bitcoin, Ethereum Fall at Crypto Market

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Ethereum

By Adedapo Adesanya

It was a stalemate between the Naira and the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Wednesday, December 8.

This was because, at the specialised window where investors source FX for approved needs, the local currency closed against the greenback at N415.07/$1, the same value it was sold at the previous session.

This happened despite a 51.7 per cent or $76.98 million rise in the demand for forex at the market window, as data obtained by Business Post from FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that yesterday, the turnover rose to $225.99 million from the previous day’s turnover of $149.01 million.

Also, the Naira recorded the same outcome at the interbank window of the forex market as the exchange rate of the domestic currency compared with its American counterpart remained unchanged at N411.74/$1 at the close of transactions at the midweek session.

However, the Nigerian Naira appreciated against the British Pound Sterling during the session by N2.68 to settle at N543.04/£1 versus Tuesday’s closing rate of N545.72/£1 and against the Euro, the local currency performed badly as it lost 53 kobo to trade at N474.07/€1 compared with N463.54/€1 it closed a day earlier.

Meanwhile, the scales tilted to the bullish side on aggregate at the crypto market yesterday as six of the 10 cryptocurrencies tracked by this newspaper closed on the green side.

The highest gainer was Tron (TRX) as it appreciated by 9.1 per cent to sell for N52.50, just as Dash (DASH) rose by 6.6 per cent to sell at N85,000.00, with Ripple (XRP) appreciating by 5.9 per cent to N487.19.

In addition, Binance Coin (BNB) gained 5.3 per cent to trade at N249,686.22, Litecoin (LTC) rose by 1.5 per cent to sell at N96,110.37, while Cardano (ADA) pointed north by making a 0.9 per cent gain to quote at N815.96.

On the losers’ side, Ethereum (ETH) made a 3.4 per cent slump to trade at N2,300,500.02, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 0.9 per cent to trade at N28,330,347.37, Dogecoin (DOGE) retreated by 0.6 per cent to sell at N103.74, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) depreciated by 0.5 per cent to sell for N571.85.

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