UAC Nigeria Gets N3.6bn Shares of UPDC REIT

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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.

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