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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.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Business

Boeing to Deliver 50 737 MAX Planes to British Airways

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American Airlines Boeing

International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, on Thursday said it has agreed to purchase 50 Boeing 737 MAX planes. The transaction estimated at $6.25 billion includes a substantial discount and is expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2027, according to a statement issued by the company.

In the statement seen by Investors King, Luis Gallego, the Chief Executive of IAG, said “The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG’s short-haul fleet renewal.”  

“The deal falls short of a blockbuster non-binding commitment for 200 737 MAX jets placed under former chief executive Willie Walsh at the Paris Airshow 2019 that was a welcome lifeline to Boeing when the model was grounded after two fatal crashes.

“But the firm 737 MAX 10 order from a top-tier customer is an important signal to the market at a time when Boeing faces an increasingly high-stakes battle to win certification of the largest MAX variant before a new safety standard on cockpit alerts takes effect at year-end.”

Boeing’s financial health rests on the resumption of deliveries of 787 Dreamliners and clearing MAX inventories, company executives and analysts have said.

Former IAG’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Gunning revealed to analysts in November that the airline group would need some additional short-haul aircraft towards 2024 or 2025 and hinted that any order would include the 737 MAX.

IAG, owner of Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia and Vueling in addition to British Airways, also has a further 100 purchase options as part of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval.

IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups, with a fleet of 531 aircraft. Before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it operated to 279 destinations and carried around 118 million passengers each year.

It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and Spanish Stock Exchanges.

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Business

CISLAC Campaigns For Tobacco Tax Hike

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British American Tobacco

The Federal Ministry of Health, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for a campaign to raise tobacco tax. The aim of this advocacy is to generate income for the health sector and save the lives of Nigerians.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani said the measure would provide Nigeria with a win-win situation by lowering tobacco product affordability while generating income for development funds. He said that the detrimental effects of tobacco usage had prompted countries such as Nigeria to enact tobacco control measures to reduce tobacco consumption and cost.

“Excise taxes are the most effective tax measure for promoting health because they change the price of a harmful product relative to other goods and can be easily increased over time. Consumption is reduced best with taxes based on specific taxes on unhealthy products such as sticks and packs of cigarettes.

“Closely linked to the issue of tobacco taxation as a control tool, is the issue of safeguarding population health. It is not news, however, that the state of health care delivery in Nigeria remained very abysmal while the world intensified efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Recall that Investors King had earlier reported the World Bank’s call to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging the government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and beverages that are highly sweetened in order to improve primary healthcare conditions in the country.

Investors King gathered that, Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director for Nigeria in the World Bank Group, said that an improvement in healthcare in Nigeria will come by taxing the things that are “killing us.” He said that the economic rationale for the action is quite strong if lives are to be saved and a healthier Nigeria achieved.

According to Rafsanjani, African nations convened in April 2001 to address health-care finance issues, which are one of the primary determinants of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and decided to set aside 15% of their budget for health.

“As the country defaults on budgeting effectively for health, countries of the world are adopting innovative approach to mobilise resources for health financing which is adopting tobacco taxes as an alternative strategy”, he noted.

The study, according to Rafsanjani, was commissioned to investigate the potential of tobacco taxation as a form of income for Nigerian health financing.

He explained that the study’s goal was to give scientific information to help policymakers formulate better policies as Nigeria battled to close the gap in health funding.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Holdings Plc to Acquire Majority Stake in First Guarantee Pension Limited

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Herbert Wigwe - Investors King

Access Holdings Plc has agreed with First Guarantee Pension Limited to acquire a majority stake in the company in its drive to transform from a narrow banking business into a financial service company.

The leading financial institution stated in a press release obtained by Investors King on Thursday.

According to Access Bank, the transaction is in line with its strategy to evolve into a full-blown financial services company and gain relevant market share across Africa, global monetary centres and beyond banking verticals.

Speaking on the firm’s push to change the banking landscape, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Corporation said “This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape focusing on banking and have created the African leading Bank and largest bank by customer base.

“This large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the Corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation. We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk management, cutting-edge technology, and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism in the management of pension assets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”

The firm added that the National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their no objection to the transaction.

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