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Stock market closes negative as investors lose N33bn

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By Philemon Adedeji

Investors on the stock market on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) yesterday lose N33 billion due to Selloffs of industrial giant, which are Dangote Cement (-0.71 per cent) as well as losses in Zenith Bank  (-0.40 per cent) and Access  Corporation (-0.54 per cent) offset demand for MTNN (+0.79 per cent) and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (+0.60 per cent), driving the weak performance.

Absolutely, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI)  shed 67.98 absolute points or 0.13 per cent to close at 54,299.76 Index points from 54,367.74 index points it closed on Monday.

Consequently, the ASI’s year-to-date (YTD) return decreased to 5.95 per cent while the market capitalization lost N33.50 billion to close at N29.58 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalized stocks which are MTNN, Dangote Cement, Japaulgold and others.

The breakdown of yesterday’s market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up by 58.84 per cent.

The trade volume increased by 4.4 per cent to 200.04 million shares worth N7.62 billion were exchanged in 4,380 deals.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) led the volume chart with 27.98 million units traded while Geregu Power led the value chart in deals worth N4.18 billion.

The Market sentiments as measured by market breadth closed negative as Japaulk Gold topped 24 others on the laggard’s log, while Conoil  led 16 others on the leader’s table.

On the performance board, Conoil oil and MRS oil topped the gainers list with appreciation of 10.00 per cent and 9.82 per cent each as their respective share price appreciated by N29.15 and N21.25 per share respectively.

International Energy Insurance which recorded as the last third gainer rose marginally by 9.35 per cent increased to close at N1.17 per share.

Glaxosmith rose by 6.92 per cent, Wapic Insurance which recorded as the last fifth gainer went up by 4.65 per cent to close at N0.45 per share.

However, on the Laggards log Japaulgold emerged as the highest price loser dipped by 9.38 per share to close at N0. 29 per share, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) which followed depreciated by 7.82 per cent to close at N4.60 per share, while Royalex Exchange Lost 7.32 per cent to close at N0. 76 per cent

UACN and Linkages Assurance went down by 6.12 per cent each to close at N9.20 and N0.46 respectively.

Transaction in the shares of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) topped the activities chart with 27.983 million shares worth N130.017 million, Closely followed by Geregu Power which traded 21.129 million shares worth N4.175 million, while Sterling Bank transacted 18.837 million shares value at N28.931 million.

Transcorp Plc traded 15.767 million shares worth N21.163 million, Zenith Bank transacted 14.670 million shares valued at N366.988 million.

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SEC, Capital Market Community to address challenges in the sector

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By Matthew Denis

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has disclosed that the Capital Market Committee (CMC) for the first quarter of 2024 is scheduled to be held virtually on Thursday, 18TH April 2024 to discuss challenges, brainstorm ideas and make informed decisions about the progress of the Nigerian capital market.

Critical issues about the capital market will be extensively dealt with at the meeting, the SEC stated.

According to the SEC, there will be a presentation of updates on major achievements from the various technical Committees such as Commodities Ecosystem Implementation Committee, E-Dividend and DCS, Financial Literacy and Non-interest Capital Market FLTC and many others driving the implementation processes of the Capital Market Master Plan.

CMC is an industry-wide committee comprising the SEC, representatives of capital market operators and trade groups, and other stakeholders.  The committee is a forum where stakeholders come together to engage in insightful discussions concerning the critical factors that impact the growth and organised functioning of the capital market, address the foremost concerns influencing the capital market, and work together to shape its future.

It was primarily established to serve as a medium for the exchange of ideas among market stakeholders as well as an avenue for providing feedback to the SEC on how to continuously address challenges, improve market operations, and enhance the regulatory framework.

Expected participants at the CMC meeting include Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of all registered capital market firms (i.e. Broker/Dealers, Investment Advisers, Custodians, Fund/Portfolio Managers, Receiving Banks, Issuing Houses, Rating Agencies, Registrars, Reporting Accountants, Trustees, and Capital Market Consultants, etc.).

Others are Chief Executive Officers of Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD); FMDQ Group Plc; Africa Exchange Holdings (AFEX); Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX); Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS); as well as representatives of relevant financial sector regulatory agencies, among others.

The usual interface with members of the Press will be held the following day Friday, 19th April 2024 through a Webinar.

Attendance at both events is strictly by invitation. All invited participants are expected to be seated by 9:45 am.

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BUA Foods Plc: Revenue rises 74.36%, as operating costs escalate in FY 2023

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The performance of Nigeria’s consumer goods companies in 2023 showed increasing divergence in performance and profitability positions as the effect of challenging macroeconomic conditions continued to impact operational costs and profitability positions of consumer goods industry players.

Despite these challenges, BUA Foods Plc demonstrated remarkable resilience, mirroring its strategy, and delivering double-digit growth.

The spectre of inflation loomed as businesses raised prices to cover surging input, operational, and finance costs. currency devaluation, escalating energy expenses, and heightened insecurity also remained elevated in 2023.

Households grappled with dwindling disposable incomes, eroding their purchasing power, and altering consumption patterns compared to preceding years.

The impact of this economic strain was acutely felt by lower-income households, while even those of average means found themselves grappling with the pervasive effects of rising inflation and challenging macroeconomic conditions.

In an outlook statement for 2023 and while delivering the FY 2022 financial report of BUA Foods Plc, Ayodele Abioye, the managing director of BUA Foods Plc, stated that “we remain resolute to navigate the numerous business headwinds to continue delivering double-digit growth with a sustained focus on our market expansion strategy across our business segments.”

This unwavering focus on strategy is what sets BUA Foods Plc apart, leading to its highest sector market capitalisation at N6.84 trillion and its position as one of the most profitable FMCG companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

Revenue and Profitability

BUA Foods Plc’s revenue continued its upward trend, as seen in the past four years. The company’s revenue grew by +74.36 percent to N729.44bn in FY 2023 from N418.35bn in FY 2022. Major contributors to the FY 2023 revenue were the sale of sugar (Fortified), flour and pasta, contributing 86 percent of the FY 2023 revenue. Despite +75.60 percent growth in operating profits to N206.32bn in FY 2023 from N117.49bn, growth in selling and distribution expenses and finance cost by +110.36 percent and +1,054.59 percent to N29.85bn and N100.68bn respectively had a major impact in squeezing pretax returns which grew only by +0.83 percent to N108.12bn FY 2023

Segmental Performance

In 2023, sugar (fortified) emerged as the primary driver of revenue growth for BUA Foods, closely followed by bakery flour and sugar (non-fortified). Molasses, the byproduct of the sugar refining process, made the smallest contribution to revenue.

Despite its significant growth, the wheat bran segment ranked fourth in revenue contribution. Nevertheless, the wheat bran segment holds promise within BUA Foods’ vertical integration strategy and segmental growth initiatives, showing notable potential for future revenue growth

Financial Position

The company’s assets rose by +76.28 percent in FY 2023 to N1,070.44bn from N607.22bn in FY 2022. Asset growth in FY 2023 is attributable to inventory growth, cash and cash equivalents, and, due from related parties, growth by +277.27 percent, +211.30 percent, and +265.60 percent, respectively. BUA Food’s Liability increased by +114.84%, driven by a +207.59 percent growth in total borrowings.

Shareholders’ equity capital climbed by +13.46 percent as growth in returns saw retained earnings grow by +13.95 percent in FY 2023 to N262.06bn from N230.96bn in FY 2022.

Cash Flow

BUA Food Plc’s cash position rose by +259.75 percent as cash and cash equivalents increased to N99.55bn in FY 2023 from N27.67bn, supported by a +212.06 percent growth in current borrowings.

Cash generated from selling the companies’ products and services increased as cash from operating activities rose by +21.72 percent from N124.47bn in FY 2022 to N151.51bn in FY 2023. Net cash received from investment activities grew to N34.59bn in FY 2023 from N15.44bn in a corresponding period in 2022.

Ratios

The fiscal year 2023 witnessed notable enhancements in BUA Foods Plc’s capability to fulfil its short-term obligations, as evidenced by improvements in the current and acid test ratios.

Specifically, these ratios advanced to 0.91 and 1.41, respectively, from 0.90 and 0.81 in the previous fiscal year.

However, the company experienced increased operational and financial costs, leading to a decline in the return on equity (ROE) by -4.57bps to 10.47 percent in FY 2023 from 15.04 percent in 2022. Similarly, the return on assets (ROA) observed only a marginal increase of +3.23bps in FY 2023, reaching 42.78 percent compared to 39.55 percent in 2022.

While the gross profit margin (GPM) expanded to 35.71 percent in FY 2023, reduced net earnings during the same period resulted in a decline of -6.47bps in the net profit margin (NPM) to 15.37 percent, down from 21.83 percent in the corresponding period in 2022.

Notably, BUA Foods Plc experienced a decrease in inventory turnover in FY 2023, with inventory growing to N112.28bn from N29.76bn in 2022. This inventory growth could have contributed to higher storage and holding costs for the FMCG industry leader.

Conclusion

Nigeria’s FMCG sector has been pressured by rising operating costs, growing inventories (probably because of lower demand), and steeper debt. The combination of these factors has doused investor enthusiasm. This does not imply that investors are largely pulling away from the sector, but they are looking closer at how economic fundamentals will affect the sector’s future earnings. Several suppliers have bitten the dust as rising costs and increased insecurity from farm gates to factory floors have squashed profit margins. Insecurity has led to a large pullback in miller suppliers, raising the cost of flour products and exported goods.

A sustained rise in the foreign exchange rate in 2023 led to FMCGs’ foreign exchange losses and put pressure on their costs of goods sold (COGS). Analysts expect the situation to be less severe in 2024 as the naira strengthens against other global currencies.

However, for FMCGs to reduce inventories and lower their prices to encourage higher domestic demand, the domestic security situation must improve, and multiple logistics levies must be tackled.

According to a manager at one of the companies who requested anonymity, ‘with energy costs going up (the federal government has approved a 200% increase in energy tariff for band A power sector consumers), FMCGs will see further operating cost pressures on their bottom lines. Profit margins may be squashed like pancakes.’

He further observed that ‘FMCGs will have to pull out all the stops to get several costs down. BUA has some temporary tax shields from its pioneer status for its pasta and flour milling plants, but the reliefs have started ticking down from last year; the truth is that depending on temporary reliefs for a strategic plan is like swimming in the ocean until the tide runs out, then we will know whose swimming shorts are dangling around their ankles.’

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Equity market: Investors lose N412bn

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Losses in the stocks of Dangote Sugar, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among others have further weakened the performance of the equity market of Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX).

Specifically, investors lost N412 billion or 0.71 percent, as the market capitalisation, which opened at N58.276 trillion, closed at N57.864 trillion.

Similarly, the All-Share index shed 0.71 percent or 733 points to settle at 102,314.56, as against 103,047.23 recorded on Monday. Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return dropped to 36.83 per cent.

Profit taking in some banking stocks such as: FBN Holdings (FBNH), Zenith Bank, Access Corporation, as well as United Capital, Nestle, Eterna Plc, among other stocks pushed the market performance further to a negative terrain.

Market breadth also closed negative with 36 losers and 12 gainers on the trading floor of the Exchange.

On the losers table, Dangote Sugar and GTCO led by 10 per cent each to close at N53.10 and N41.40 per share, respectively.

Flour Mills lost 9.87 percent to close at N33.80, Multiverse declined by 9.84 percent to close at N13.75 and FTN Cocoa Processors depreciated by 8.82 percent to close at N1.55 per share.

Conversely, Transcorp led the gainers table by 9.93 percent to close at N14.95, Morison Industries Plc followed by 9.87 percent to close at N2.56 per share.

Also, Oando Plc added 9.61 percent to close at N12.55, Caverton advanced by 8.54 percent to close at N1.78 and Deap Capital Management rose by 7.94 percent to close at 68k per share.

However, analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up by 569.96 percent.

A total of 734.04 million shares valued at N21.59 billion were exchanged in 12,491 deals, compared to 245.86 million shares valued at N3.22 billion, exchanged in 5,302 deals traded in the previous session.

United Bank of Africa (UBA) led the volume chart with 148.88 million shares traded in deals worth N4.01 billion.

Zenith Bank traded 135.81 million shares valued at N5.48 billion, GTCO sold 98.76 million shares worth N4.13 billion, Transcorp transacted 71.43 million shares worth N998.48 million.

Access Corporation also sold 44.31 million shares valued at N868.1 million.

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