Dangote Flour Returns to Profitability
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Increased Cost of Customs Duty, Forex Crisis Affects Used Vehicles Imports Volume in Nigeria
Used Vehicles auto dealers in Nigeria have expressed concern over the decline of Tokunbo car imports volume in 2022.
According to the dealers, Tokunbo car imports dropped by 47% as a result of the increased cost of customs duty and the forex crisis.
These auto dealers disclosed that the increased cost of duty on used vehicles by Nigerian customs has affected their car sales. They lamented that the import duties have also affected the number of cars they import into the country which has drastically reduced.
It would be recalled that in April 2022, the Nigerian customs announced that it would update the importation of car edition from 2017 to 2021 in compliance with the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) to the 2022-2026 version in which used cars coming into Nigeria are expected to pay a 20% tariff rate and a NAC levy of 15 percent.
The NAC levy, coupled with the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5 percent, results in an almost 50 percent levy that is now paid on the importation of used vehicles in Nigeria.
Speaking on the decline of the importation of used vehicles in Nigeria, regional manager of Auto Auction Mall Oluwafemi Amisu said that the increase in import duties has 100 percent played an important role in the reduction of importation of used cars into Nigeria.
He also attributed the benchmark of car models to an increase in shipping cost leading to an increase in the price of the vehicles.
Shipping companies that formerly used 2,300 vehicle capacity vessels to ship into the country have visibly downsized to 1,000 or 1,500 capacity vessels.
“Majority of transactions made by Nigerians importing vehicles are within the 08-010 model range, which typically cost N400, 000 –N600, 000 to clear. However, since 2014 has been chosen as the benchmark, clearing costs have increased to between N1 million and N1.7 million,” he added.
Also, another challenge that has been attributed to the decline of importation of used vehicles in Nigeria is the Forex crisis which auto dealers lament has affected the purchasing power of customers. They added that people now prefer to buy Nigerian used cars instead of foreign used cars, even so, Nigerian used cars have also become very expensive.
Findings by Investors King reveal that the duty rate is majorly the reason for the drop in the importation of used vehicles, as most of the vehicles coming into Nigeria are below 2013, which mandates that any auto dealer bringing any car lower than that into Nigeria will pay a duty of 2013. Due to this, most of the vehicles are reportedly passing through Cotonou Port.
Ajay Banga Nominated as Sole Candidate for World Bank Presidency
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced that Ajay Banga, a United States national, is the only nominee for the position of the next president of the bank.
This news follows US President Joe Biden’s nomination of Banga to lead the World Bank in February, citing his suitability for the role at “this critical moment in history.”
Banga, who was born in India and is a naturalized US citizen, is currently serving as vice chairman at General Atlantic and previously worked as the chief executive of Mastercard Inc. If confirmed, he would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions: the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors will now conduct a formal interview with Banga in Washington D.C., with the expectation of concluding the presidential selection in due course. The current president of the World Bank, David Malpass, is set to step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire, and Banga is expected to replace him.
Banga’s nomination comes at a time of increasing global economic uncertainty, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and challenging the resilience of many countries’ financial systems. As such, the incoming World Bank president will face significant pressure to navigate the institution through these difficult times, while also addressing concerns around climate action and the role of the World Bank in promoting sustainable development.
While Banga’s nomination as the sole candidate for the position of World Bank president may come as a surprise to some, it also reflects the United States’ historical dominance in the governance of international financial institutions. However, it remains to be seen how Banga will use his position to shape the future direction of the World Bank and address the complex challenges facing the global economy.
Unilever Nigeria to Focus on Higher Growth Opportunities by Exiting Home Care and Skin Cleansing Markets
Unilever Nigeria Plc, one of the leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, has announced its decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets.
The company disclosed that the decision would only affect three of its brands – OMO, Sunlight, and Lux. According to Unilever Nigeria, the move is aimed at accelerating the growth of the organisation and sustaining profitability.
The restructuring of Unilever Nigeria’s business model is in response to the tough business environment in Nigeria, where many organisations and individuals have found it difficult to access cash due to the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Unilever Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mr Carl Cruz, noted that the offloading of the home care and skin cleansing portfolios would enable the company to “concentrate on higher growth opportunities.”
Unilever Nigeria has a strong competition in the business categories it is exiting. However, the company’s products are also market leaders in the sector. Mr Cruz added that the company was repurposing its portfolio by gradually exiting two categories, home care and skin cleansing, affecting only three brands (OMO, Sunlight, and Lux).
This would allow Unilever Nigeria to drive the rest of its brand portfolio for growth into the future and strengthen business operations with measures to digitize and simplify processes.
Unilever Nigeria is a truly Nigerian business and the oldest serving manufacturer in the country. The company’s decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets is in line with its commitment to adapt to changing market circumstances and reposition itself to better meet the needs of its consumers, shareholders, and employees.
Mr Cruz said, “By making these changes, we will unleash the sustained and profitable growth we need to be here for the next 100 years as well.”
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