Zenith Bank, Dangote, others report N1.01tr profit in 2018

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Zenith Bank

…as shareholders reap bumper dividend

By Kayode Tokede and Olabode Jegede

Despite increased tax expenses and cost of sales, Zenith Bank Plc, Dangote Plc Nestle Nigeria Plc and four other companies have announced N1.01 trillion Profit Before Tax (PBT) in 2018 financial statement.

The other four companies include, Guaranty Trust Bank

Plc (GTBank), Nigerian Breweries Plc, Stanbic Bank Holdings Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.

Nigerian NewsDirect gathered  that the profit before tax ( PBT) of these  seven companies rose by 17.7 per cent from N854.5 billion reported in 2017 financial year results.

On the heels of improved financials, the above companies have maintained dividend payout policy to their shareholders, a key contributing factor that has impacted on their share price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) closed on a positive note in 2018, gaining 2.38per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 1.93per cent for the full year.

The report by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the growth of GDP in 2018 was driven by both the oil sector and the non-oil sector.

The report by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals further that GDP growth in 2018 was driven by both the oil sector and the non-oil sector, most especially

The seven companies are first to release audited results on the NSE in line with NSE post listing requirement that mandated companies to submit accounts on or before March 30.

However, financial institutions mentioned above reduced their Impairment loss on financial and non-financial instruments, another factor that aided growth in profits.

Interestingly, Nigerian Breweries out of the seven companies reported decline in profit PBT, attributable to slow sales and excise duty expenses that was introduced by the Federal Government in 2018.

The multinational breweries company reported 36.6 per cent drop in PBT to N29.42 billion from N46.46 billion reported in 2017.

Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that Dangote Cement with increased sales in Nigeria reported 3.9 per cent increase in PBT to N300.81 billion in 2018 from N289.59 billion reported in 2017, leading other listed companies on NSE in terms of profitability.

Following Dangote Cement is Zenith Bank with N231.7 billion PBT in 2018, 16.2 per cent increase over N199 billion reported in 2017 while GTBank came close with N215.6 billion PBT in 2018 from N197.68 billion reported in 2017, translating to 9.1 per cent increase.

Another financial institution, Stanbic IBTC Holdings reported N88.15 billion  from N61.2 billion reported in 2017.

In addition, Nestle Nigeria’s PBT grew by 22.6 per cent to N59.75 billion from N46.8 billion in 2017 while Seplat Petroleum Development Company reported N80.6billion PBT in 2018, 499.2 per cent increase over N13.5 billion reported in 2017.

Nigerian Breweries dividend payout to shareholders came as a surprise as the company reported weak corporate earnings.

Despite 41.2 per cent decline in profit after tax, the management of Nigerian Breweries maintained its dividend payment policy, proposing a total dividend of N373 kobo per share after (2017: N3.13 kobo per share) based on the issued share capital of 7,996,902,051 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each subject to approval by shareholders.

The company in 2016 had proposed N3.58 dividend, 0.6 per cent or N0.02 below N3.60 dividend that was paid to shareholders in 2015.

On the heels of improved profits, the management of Dangote Cement proposed dividend of N16.00 per 50 kobo ordinary share for 2018 financial year from N10.50 per 50 kobo ordinary share paid in 2017.

Meanwhile, GTBank proposed a final dividend of N2.45k per unit of ordinary share held by shareholders in addition to interim dividend of 30k per unit of ordinary share bringing total dividend for 2018 financial year to N2.75k per unit of ordinary share.

The shareholders of GTBank had approved a total dividend of N2.70 per unit of ordinary share for 2017 audited results.

For Zenith Bank, the board had declared interim dividend of N0.30 and a final dividend of N2.50 per share (31 December, 2017: interim; N0.25, final; N2.45) from the retained earnings account as at 31 December, 2018.

In addition to N20 per share interim dividend already paid, the Board of Nestle Nigeria proposed a final dividend of N38.50 per share for 2018 shareholders’ approval.

In addition, the board of Seplat Petroleum Development Company has recommended a final dividend of $0.05 per share for 2018 financial year.

Stakeholders applaud impressive performance

Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect during the weekend, the Managing Director, Cowry Assets Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said the steady increase in the nation’s economy impacted on companies’ earnings.

According to him, “I think improvement over the previous year’s economy which leads to exiting from recession played critical role on companies reporting good profit.

“Because these companies are operating within a macroeconomic environment and we have seen the improvement in GDP from 0.80 per cent growth in 2017 to 1.93 per cent in 2018, that is beginning to reflect in the performance of corporate organizations particularly those in the financial services industry.

“But you might as well note that there has been gradual improvement in their Non Performing Loans which is a critical factor in determine their profitability.

“Upon going the pipeline, we also see marginal improvement in the bottom line which can attribute to the marginal improvement in the growth rate of the economy.

“So, based on current economic indicators, we see further expansion in GDP of the economy, we should expect that corporate organizations maintained better performance this year.”

Reacting also, the Managing Director, Highcap Securities, Mr. David Adonri, said, “Steady improvement in the macro economic environment at which these companies operate played a critical role.”

Speaking from a shareholders perspective, Chairman of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) Mr. Boniface Okezie said, “It is a good performance by these companies and that is the resilience from Nigerian companies, even as the economy is hard and tougher.

“I think with prudence, we also should give kudos to the management of these companies that have reported wonderful result.

He added that, “The like of GTBank and Zenith bank do not disappoint when it matters most  and that is what has been keeping the banks.”

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