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Dangote Flour Returns to Profitability

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Dangote

One the factors that have endeared the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to invest in the nation’s capital was his decision to list some of the his companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). That decision gave opportunity to investors to share from his wealth through dividends payment. The first company in the Dangote Group to list on the NSE was Dangote Sugar Refinery.

Today there are Dangote Cement Plc, which is the most capitalised on the exchange, Dangote Flour Mills (DFM) Plc and Nascon Allied Industries Plc. These companies have been rewarding shareholders with dividends. However, shareholders in DFM Plc had a raw deal when Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), decided to sell part of that company to South African firm, Tiger Brand in 2012. Soon after the sale, the fortunes of DFM nosedived, leading to accumulated losses. However, in a bid to prevent the company from going under and save several jobs, DIL last December. Months after the re-acquisition from Tiger Brands, Dangote Flour Mills has returned to profitability.

Corporate Profile

Dangote Flour Mills Plc commenced operations in 1999, as a division of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), one of Nigeria’s largest and fastest growing conglomerates. Following the strategic decision of DIL to unbundle its various operations, DFM was incorporated in 2006. The restructuring was completed in January, 2006 when the Federal High Court sanctioned a scheme of Arrangement wherein all the assets, liabilities and undertakings of the erstwhile flour division of DIL was transferred to DFM.

From an initial installed capacity of 500 MT per day at its Apapa mill, Dangote Flour has expanded rapidly by opening in quick successions three other flour mills in Kano (2000), Calabar (2001) and Ilorin (2005). Each of the mills started with an installed capacity of 500 MT per day but all of them have subsequently expanded resulting in a total installed capacity of 5,000.

The expansion was in response to a growing national demand for flour and flour based products in addition to the company’s drive for increased market share. Thus from a modest beginning the company has grown to become one of the industry leaders within a six-year period. The company has three wholly owned subsidiaries, comprising Dangote Agro Sacks Limited, Dangote Pasta Limited and, Dangote Noodles Limited.

Financial Performance

The company posted a profit before tax (PBT) of N2.64 billion for the nine months ended June 30, 2016, compared to a loss of N9.55 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2015. An analysis of the results showed that Dangote Flour Mills, which consists of Dangote Flour, Dangote Pasta, and Dangote Noodles, recorded a gross profit of N14.03 billion by June 2016 as against N2.62 billion by June 2015. Profit from operating activities rose to N8.47 billion by June 2016 compared with trading loss of N3.48 billion in comparable period of 2015. After tax, net profit stood at N2.84 billion by June 2016 as against net loss of N9.11 billion in 2015. Earnings per share showed 76.5 kobo as against loss per share of N2.42 in 2015.

Gross profit margin more than tripled to 28.14 per cent by June 2016 as against 7.9 per cent in corresponding period of 2015. Pre-tax profit margin stood at 5.3 per cent in 2016, as against negative margin of 28.9 per cent in 2015.

Commenting on the results, Group Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Flour Mills, Thabo Mabe said the return to profitability follows several strategies adopted by the company to increase market share and create value for shareholders. He said that the flour mill is driven by the vision of putting its products on the table of every Nigerian.

Justifying Reacquisition

Although the re-acquisition of DFM attracted various interpretations, sources close to the DIL had said the company had to consider the repurchase so as to keep the it as a going concern, which preserves value for the minority retail shareholders and also secured direct employment for over 3,000 employees.

“Going by every indication, the future of the company was very doubtful and that was risky for the employees which are over 3,000 Nigerians apart from others who benefit from the company’s services through other ancillary services. The return of DIL is therefore a big relief and good decision to save the jobs of the staff of TBCG,” a market source had said.

The transaction ensured that the company was maintained as a viable going concern, able to retain its employees and meet its obligations to its stakeholders.

Besides, the transaction envisaged that sufficient capital will be injected into the company in order to stabilise the business and place it on a sustainable path aimed at creating value for its stakeholders.

Reposition Strategies

Soon after the repurchasing the company, DIL made fresh efforts to reposition the firm, return it to profitability and deliver returns to shareholders like others in the group. The first move was ensuring a new corporate governance strategy. In this regard, Aliko Dangote left the board, while Asue Ighodalo, a renowned corporate lawyer and Chairman of Sterling Bank Plc was appointed as its new chairman.

Also, DIL appointed Alhaji Ahmed Shehu Yakasai as Executive Director, Supply Chain and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, while Ms. Halima Dangote was appointed Executive Director, Commercial.

Addressing the shareholders of the company, Ighodalo assured the shareholders that the Board and Management of the company would continue to mitigate the effect if these challenges and would work extremely hard to turn around the fortunes of the company.

He said following the repurchase of the entire shareholdings of Tiger Brands, additional capital has been injected into the company.

According to him, “We bought back Dangote Flour Mill from Tiger Branded and by this move, it means we have a stronger, better sophisticated and more focused DFM.

“Since the takeover, we have taken a lot steps to reposition the company through expansion to drive growth. We are also using this medium to restate our commitment to increasing our shareholders value and our dear customers.”

He added: “Our processes and management have been strengthened in order to stabilise the business and place it on a sustainable path aimed at creating value for its stakeholders,” Ighodalo said.

The chairman, who expressed appreciation to the staff, noted that the company would continue to place high priority on their training and development, seek and retain the best the “best talents in our continued pursuit of operational and services excellence.”

He stated that the customers are the key partners in the business, who continue to remain the cornerstone of the company.

“Notwithstanding the challenges faced during the year, we continued to receive excellent patronage from our customers. We are immensely grateful for this unwavering support,” the chairman said.

He reiterated the commitments of the group to further invest in the growth of its businesses within and outside Nigeria noting that the Dangote Group believes in job and wealth creation.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Appointments

Heirs Oil & Gas Announces CEO and Board Appointments

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Tony Elumelu

Heirs Oil & Gas (HHOG), the leading African integrated energy company, has announced the appointment of Osayande Igiehon as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 4, 2021, together with a distinguished non-executive board, bringing together leading industry figures, with considerable global and regional experience.

Heirs Holdings Limited’s (HH) portfolio company, HHOG, completed the acquisition of OML17 in January 2021, in one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of US$1.1 billion. The transaction represents a further implementation of the HH Group strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa. Through a series of strategic portfolio holdings, HH is executing this strategy. Most recently, affiliate company, Transcorp made a US$300 million acquisition of Afam Power, increasing the Group’s installed electricity generating capacity to 2,000MW.

Mr. Igiehon, who joins from the Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), where he was previously a Vice-President with the Group in the Hague, Netherlands. He brings over twenty-seven years of experience and expertise in the oil and gas sector with Shell, where he held a series of senior management positions. Mr. Igiehon previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shell Gabon, where he led the successful turnaround of the operational, safety and financial performance.

HHOG is also pleased to announce the appointment of the following distinguished private sector and senior industry leaders to the Board:

  • Tony O. Elumelu, CON is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
  • Sally Udoma who previously served as general counsel for Chevron Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East Exploration and Production. Previously, she was general counsel for Sasol Chevron Consulting Limited and managing counsel at the London Legal Service Centre for Chevron Global Upstream and Gas. She has also served as general counsel and general manager for Chevron Nigeria Limited.
  • Anil Dua is a founding partner at Gateway Partners Limited, a private equity fund specialising in dynamic growth markets including Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to this, Mr. Dua worked for over thirty-five years with Standard Chartered Bank in Asia, Africa, Europe and the US, where he held various roles including Regional CEO West Africa and Regional Head of Origination and Client Coverage, Africa.
  • Ahmadu Kida Musa who previously served as Deputy Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, has over thirty-two years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry and brings considerable expertise in Nigerian oil and gas.
  • Stanley Lawson currently serves on the board of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. He is Managing Partner at Financial Advisory & Investment Consultants Ltd. Dr Lawson previously occupied the position of Group Executive Director-Finance & Accounts at Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
  • Samuel Nwanze is the Chief Finance Officer at Heirs Oil and Gas. Prior to this he was the Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings responsible for investment and capital management.

Commenting, Mr. Igiehon stated: “HHOG represents an extraordinary opportunity, to create Africa’s first true integrated energy company, with a mission to ensure that Africa’s natural resources are directed toward value creation in Africa, powered by sustainable, robust and abundant African energy. I am excited to join the Heirs Oil and Gas leadership team and look forward to the opportunity to transform the energy sector, purposefully address Africa’s energy needs and improve the lives of people across Africa.”

The Chairman of the Board, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated: “I am delighted to welcome our new board members. We are building a role model institution for African businesses and our investment in human capital is a further strong demonstration of our intent. The regional and global expertise of our board members will serve to further drive value creation to our continent, as we execute our goal of becoming Africa’s largest, indigenous, integrated, energy company.”

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Brands

CHI Limited Celebrates Its Maiden Hollandia Dairy Day

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Nigeria’s leading dairy brand, Hollandia, is set to hold the maiden edition of its Hollandia Dairy Day. The event which will be celebrated on the 18th of May 2021 will provide a veritable platform to drive the national discourse on the unrivaled health and nutrition benefits of dairy consumption to people of all ages.

Set to be hosted as a conference, the theme of this year’s event is “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living”, and it focuses on the vital role dairy consumption plays in our everyday nourishment, its benefit to our overall health, and why dairy products should be included in our diets every day.

This conference, which is designed as a hybrid of the physical and virtual events, will feature presentations, interviews and panel discussions from health experts and nutritionists as they provide insights and share perspectives to guide informed decisions about dairy consumption as part of a daily balanced diet. The event is opened to the public through the brand’s multiple social media platforms.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 2019, Nigeria has low dairy consumption levels per head – 15 to 20 liters per capita consumption. This is partly attributable to the low purchasing power of the average Nigerian household, who rank milk and dairy products as non-essential luxuries and prioritize other staple foods such as rice, beans, and yam.

By provoking the conversations and stimulating public action/intervention, Hollandia aims to drive consciousness for dairy consumption and its importance to achieving optimum health, and to get many more Nigerians drinking, using, and consuming dairy products.

The past year has presented unprecedented shocks and disruptions, including a global COVID-19 pandemic. As communities throughout the world look for ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, maintaining and boosting good health is top of mind for many. Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt contain essential nutrients, including Vitamins A and D, Zinc and Protein, which support immune function.

The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.

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Business

Nokia Launches Blockchain-Powered Data Marketplace For Secure Data Trading and AI Models

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Nokia

Nokia today announced the launch of the Nokia Data Marketplace as-a-service to facilitate secure sharing of data and AI models, enabling digital transformation and data monetization for enterprises.

As data volumes continue to surge, AI and machine learning are increasingly crucial in business decision making. Nokia Data Marketplace is designed to help enterprises and communications service providers (CSPs) use data in strategic decision making, by providing real-time access to massive trusted datasets.

The new service also enables enterprises and CSPs to become data marketplace providers themselves, by monetizing data exchanges between customers or business ecosystem participants.

Nokia Data Marketplace ensures trusted data exchange and authorization mechanisms. This enables a wide range of vertical use cases, including electric vehicle charging, environmental data monetization, supply-chain automation and preventative maintenance powering numerous vertical segments, including transportation, ports, energy, smart cities and healthcare.

Friedrich Trawoeger, Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Services at Nokia, said: “Our customers need secure and trusted access to data for effective business decision making. With Nokia Data Marketplace, enterprises and CSPs can now benefit from richer insights and predictive models to drive digital ways of working and tap into new revenue streams.”

Nokia Data Marketplace accelerates AI initiatives through federated learning. This approach, combined with orchestration capabilities, facilitates the collaborative development of highly accurate machine learning models for analytics use cases. It also meets the growing demand for a platform that can efficiently apply AI and machine learning algorithms to in situ data.

Nokia Data Marketplace complements Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), which offers global IoT connectivity and vertical applications. For example, Nokia WING’s asset tracking solution is enriched by Nokia Data Marketplace’s blockchain to provide secure and automated data exchange and transactions between logistics’ ecosystem partners for faster turnaround.*

Kaladhar Voruganti, Senior Fellow, Office of the CTO at Equinix, said: “Nokia Data Marketplace combined with Equinix data centers allows organizations to share data and algorithms globally at more than 240 metro edge locations. Our Metal platform augments this to provide secure, proximate, on-demand infrastructure to enterprises and government agencies. Sharing and processing of data close to its point of creation mitigate issues related to latency, compliance, and network backhaul cost. These neutral and secure edge locations are connected via high-speed and secure networks to data sources spanning across public clouds, private enterprise data centers and data brokers.”

Wouter van Neerbos, Chief Executive Officer at Marlin, said: “Through automated data exchange among shipping participants, Nokia brings us the transparency and operational efficiency required in our global marine supply chain. This reduces waiting time for shipping participants in the marine ecosystem, enables faster turnaround for ships, and reduces our costs.”

Justin van der Lande, the Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, said: “Data is the energy needed to run all future business; critical to their success in creating the best AI-based insights and needs access to the largest data sets. Data sharing between enterprise partners is vital in building complete data sets. Facilitating data sharing using a secure platform, such as Nokia’s blockchain-based Data Marketplace, accelerates enterprises’ building of new data sets and creates richer business partnerships for them.”

Nokia is leading the development of security, privacy, and trust mechanisms as part of a consortium that was recently awarded the DEDICAT 6G project by the European Union. Nokia Data Marketplace inclusion in this project focuses on creating an AI and blockchain-enabled security framework and trust management platform for IoT applications running on B5G (Beyond 5G) networks.

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