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Unilever Nigeria’s Profit Hits N2.8bn in First Quarter

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Unilever
  • Unilever Nigeria’s Profit Hits N2.8bn in First Quarter

Unilever Nigeria Plc has announced improved financial performance for the first quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2017. The results showed increases in both top and bottom-lines, raising expectations of stakeholders for a better performance at the end of the current year.

Unilever reported a revenue of N22.172 billion for Q1 of 2017, showing an increase of 32 per cent compared with N16.782 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Cost of sales rose by 47 per cent from N10.749 billion to N15.879 billion, making the company to end the period with gross profit of N6.293 billion as against N6.033 billion in 2016.

Sales and distribution expenses went up by 23 per cent, while market and administrative costs fell by 22 per cent from N3.355 billion to N2.596 billion in 2017. However, finance costs increased by 32 per cent to N724 million, from N545 million. Profit before tax (PBT) improved by 53 per cent from N1.419 billion to N2.80 billion, while profit after tax (PAT) went up from N1.041 billion to N1.603 billion.

The company said it remained a consumer and customercentric business, as it continues to meet varying needs of Nigerians.

“The company will not relent in its efforts to satisfy its consumers. As a company, we will continue to deploy best practice marketing strategies, with high level of operational intensity; in our continued investment in commercial and factory operations to expand our capacity and grow our market share,” the company said.

In their assessment of the results, analysts at FBN Quest said compared with their estimates, Q1 sales were ahead by 17 per cent while PBT and PAT were ahead by wider margins, mainly due to the positive surprise on the sales line.

“On an annualised basis, while sales are tracking ahead of consensus full year estimate of N76 billion by 16 per cent, PBT and PAT are ahead by 87 per cent on average. Although forex exchange sourcing for raw material importation remains a challenge, any adverse effect has been offset by positives seen in the topline. We continue to believe that the larger consumer goods companies (like Unilever) are benefiting from weaker competition and thus able to grow market share,” they said.

Last week, Unilever announced plans to raise N63 billion via a rights issue and FBN Quest said: We believe the company intends to de-leverage its balance sheet and partly raise funds for planned local manufacturing capacity expansion for its personal care business in the South-West region.”

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.

Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

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Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.

According to Michael McCarthy, the Chief Market Strategies, CMC Markets, the surged in gold price is a result of the projected drop in dollar value or uncertainty.

He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”

As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.

Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.

Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

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Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.

While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.

On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”

“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.

Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

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Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.

On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.

OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.

The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.

But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.

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