- PZ Cussons Approve N1.99 Billion Dividend
Shareholders of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc yesterday approved a N1.99 billion dividend for the 2016 financial year. This translated to 50 kobo per share.
The company’s total assets increased to N74.4 billion compared to N67.4 billion the previous year.
Speaking in Abuja at its annual general meeting (AGM), Chairman of the company, Chief Kolawole Jamodu said despite the deteriorating operating environment, the company had remained focused and managed to deliver a steady performance for the period to grow shareholder value.
According to him, notwithstanding, the present exchange rate crisis among other unfavourable variables limited the optimal performance of the company.
Jamodu disclosed the company recorded an exchange loss of N2.9 billion, cutting its group profit after tax (PBT) by 52 per cent to N3.15 billion from N6.56 billion in 2015 while its consolidated revenue decreased by 4.9 percent to N69.5 billion from N73.1 billion.
However, the chairman said: “Improved planning and execution in supply chain and targeted investments in key brands helped to limit the negative impact of the scarcity of foreign currency and other adverse effects.”
He said in the overall assessment, the company “did well to hold its position in the market, reducing the negative impact of the prevailing adverse conditions and performing satisfactorily against peers in the sector.”
He said there are future prospects for the company given that the presently economic predicament is transient.
According Jamodu: ”We regard current economic challenges as transitory and we remain excited about the future of the company. Our confidence has been emboldened by positive policy changes being adopted by the government such as the new foreign exchange regime that has been introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Our brands remain strong and popular with consumers which leaves us well placed to hold our market and exploit any emerging opportunities.”
Meanwhile, shareholders unanimously commended the board for the performance and declaration of dividend amid the current economic uncertainties. They however, urged the company to surpass the current record in subsequent financial years.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE ASI) appreciated marginally by 0.08 per cent to close at 28,031.90 yesterday as heavily capitalised stocks lifted the equity market. The appreciation recorded in the share prices of United Bank for Africa Plc, Dangote Cement, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Forte Oil Plc were responsible for the marginal gain recorded in the NSE ASI.
Oil Prices Drop on Stronger U.S Dollar
The strong U.S Dollar pressured global crude oil prices on Thursday despite the big drop in U.S crude oil inventories.
The Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 74 cents or 1 percent to settle at $73.65 a barrel at 4.03 am Nigerian time on Thursday.
The U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil depreciated by 69 cents or 1 percent to $71.46 a barrel after reaching its highest since October 2018 on Wednesday.
“Energy markets became so fixated over a robust summer travel season and Iran nuclear deal talks that they somewhat got blindsided by the Fed’s hawkish surprise,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“The Fed was expected to be on hold and punt this meeting, but they sent a clear message they are ready to start talking about tapering and that means the dollar is ripe for a rebound which should be a headwind for all commodities.”
The U.S. dollar boasted its strongest single day gain in 15 months after the Federal Reserve signaled it might raise interest rates at a much faster pace than assumed.
A firmer greenback makes oil priced in dollars more expensive in other currencies, potentially weighing on demand.
Still, oil price losses were limited as data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped sharply last week as refineries boosted operations to their highest since January 2020, signaling continued improvement in demand.
Also boosting prices, refinery throughput in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, rose 4.4% in May from the same month a year ago to a record high.
“This pullback in oil prices should be temporary as the fundamentals on both the supply and demand side should easily be able to compensate for a rebounding dollar,” Moya said.
Oil Rises as Threat of Immediate Iran Supply Recedes
Oil prices rose on Tuesday, with Brent gaining for a fourth consecutive session, as the prospect of extra supply coming to the market soon from Iran faded with talks dragging on over the United States rejoining a nuclear agreement with Tehran.
Indirect discussions between the United States and Iran, along with other parties to the 2015 deal on Tehran’s nuclear program, resumed on Saturday in Vienna and were described as “intense” by the European Union.
A U.S. return to the deal would pave the way for the lifting of sanctions on Iran that would allow the OPEC member to resume exports of crude.
It is “looking increasingly unlikely that we will see the U.S. rejoin the Iranian nuclear deal before the Iranian Presidential Elections later this week,” ING Economics said in a note.
Other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) along with major producers including Russia — a group known as OPEC+ — have been withholding output to support prices amid the pandemic.
“Additional supply from OPEC+ will be needed over the second half of this year, with demand expected to continue its recovery,” ING said.
To meet rising demand, U.S. drillers are also increasing output.
U.S. crude production from seven major shale formations is forecast to rise by about 38,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July to around 7.8 million bpd, the highest since November, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly outlook.
Oil Prices Rise as Demand Improves, Supplies Tighten
Oil prices rose on Monday, hitting their highest levels in more than two years supported by economic recovery and the prospect of fuel demand growth as vaccination campaigns in developed countries accelerate.
Brent was up 53 cents, or 0.7%, at $73.22 a barrel by 1050 GMT, its highest since May 2019.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate gained 44 cents, or 0.6%, to $71.35 a barrel, its highest since October 2018.
“The two leading crude markers are trading at (almost) two-and-a-half-year highs amid a potent bullish cocktail of demand optimism and OPEC+ supply cuts,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
“This backdrop of strengthening oil fundamentals have helped underpin heightened levels of trading activity.”
Motor vehicle traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels in North America and much of Europe, and more planes are in the air as anti-coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictions are being eased, driving three weeks of increases for the oil benchmarks.
The mood was also buoyed by the G7 summit where the world’s wealthiest Western countries sought to project an image of cooperation on key issues such as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the donation of 1 billion vaccine doses to poor nations.
“If the inoculation of the global population accelerates further, that could mean an even faster return of the demand that is still missing to meet pre-Covid levels,” said Rystad Energy analyst Louise Dickson.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that it expected global demand to return to pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2022, more quickly than previously anticipated.
IEA urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, known as OPEC+, to increase output to meet the rising demand.
The OPEC+ group has been restraining production to support prices after the pandemic wiped out demand in 2020, maintaining strong compliance with agreed targets in May.
On the supply side, heavy maintenance seasons in Canada and the North Sea also helped prices stay high, Dickson said.
U.S. oil rigs in operation rose by six to 365, the highest since April 2020, energy services company Baker Hughes Co said in its weekly report.
It was the biggest weekly increase of oil rigs in a month, as drilling companies sought to benefit from rising demand.
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