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United Capital Plc Posts Stellar 9-Month Performance with 20% Gross Earnings Growth in 2023



United Capital - Investors King

United Capital Plc has announced its Unaudited Financial Results for the period ended September 30, 2023.

Gross Earnings rose by 20% year-on-year to N17.51 billion, PBT increased by 7% year-on-year to N9.72 billion, PAT grew by 10% year-on-year to N8.47billion and total assets grew by 22% year-to-date to N732.50billion.

United Capital Highlights

❖ Gross Earnings: N17.51billion in 9M 2023, compared to N14.55billion in 9M 2022 (20% growth year-on-year)
❖ Net Operating Income: N15.01billion in 9M 2023, compared to N13.49billion in 9M 2022 (11% growth year-on-year)
❖ Operating expenses: N8.26billion in 9M 2023, compared to N5.74billion in 9M 2022 (44% growth year-on-year)
❖ Profit Before Tax: N9.72billion in 9M 2023, compared to N N9.12billion in 9M 2022 (7% growth year-on-year)
❖ Profit After Tax: N8.47billion in 9M 2023, compared to N7.72billion in 9M 2022 (10% growth year-on-year)
❖ Annualized Earnings Per Share: 188 kobo. (9M 2022: 171 kobo) Statement of Financial Position:
❖ Total Assets: N732.50billion, compared to N601.92billion as at December 2022 (22% year-to-date growth)
❖ Total Liabilities: N671.29billion, compared to N568.93billion as at December 2022 (18% year-to-date growth)
❖ Shareholders Fund: N61.21billion, compared to N32.99billion as at December 2022 (86% year-to-date growth)

Commenting on the unaudited financial results, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Peter Ashade, had this to say: “United Capital’s third quarter performance reflects our strong ability to deliver sustainable earnings despite the challenging operating business environment. This is on the back of a reinforced risk management system and solid execution capabilities.

While we are focused on our strategic objective of improving our services and financial offerings to our clients, we remain committed to our promise of delivering superior value to our shareholders. This is evident in our performance as we grew gross earnings by 20% year-on-year to N17.51billion, total assets by 22% year-to-date to N732.50billion and Shareholders’ funds by 86% year-to-date to N61.21billion during the period.

“As we proceed into the fourth quarter of the year, we are positive about the emerging
opportunities in our operating environment and we are confident that all our businesses are well positioned to optimise their capabilities in the current dispensation.”

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Company News

Lafarge Africa Board Proposes N30.60bn Dividend, Lower Than Previous Year



Lafarge Africa - Investors King

Lafarge Africa’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of N30.60 billion for the year ended December 2023, a reduction from the previous year’s dividend.

The proposed dividend translates to N1.90 per unit of shares and awaits approval from shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.

In a corporate announcement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Lafarge Africa disclosed that the proposed dividend is payable from the Pioneer Reserve to shareholders registered as of March 28, 2024.

Despite the lower dividend proposal, Lafarge Africa recorded an increase in revenue to N405 billion, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous year’s N373 billion.

However, the company’s post-tax profit experienced a 4.7% decline, amounting to N51.14 billion, attributed mainly to the devaluation of the naira.

Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, expressed confidence in the company’s performance despite economic challenges.

He highlighted the growth in revenue and an improved operating margin, despite pressures from inflation and currency devaluation.

Looking forward, Lafarge Africa remains optimistic about the construction sector’s growth in Nigeria, despite prevailing economic challenges.

The company aims to leverage its market opportunities while maintaining a focus on sustainability and stakeholder value.

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Merger and Acquisition

EnjoyCorp Limited Secures Strategic Acquisition of Champion Breweries Plc



Champion Breweries

EnjoyCorp Limited, a conglomerate known for its ventures in food, beverage, and hospitality, has successfully secured a strategic acquisition deal with Heineken B.V.

The agreement entails EnjoyCorp acquiring 100% of Heineken’s shareholding in The Raysun Nigeria Company Limited, which holds an 86.5% stake in Champion Breweries Plc, a prominent regional brewer listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.

Heineken will extend its support to Champion Breweries for a year post-acquisition, ensuring a seamless transition of ownership.

This acquisition marks EnjoyCorp’s strategic entry into the beverage sector, aligning with its vision of catering to the diverse tastes of the African consumer market.

By integrating Champion Breweries as an anchor subsidiary, EnjoyCorp aims to strengthen its foothold in the industry.

EnjoyCorp, known for its mission to enrich life’s moments through quality brands and sustainability, sees this acquisition as a pivotal step in its journey toward transformative growth.

With a focus on innovation and community engagement, EnjoyCorp endeavors to inspire consumers to cherish life’s moments responsibly.

The acquisition underscores EnjoyCorp’s commitment to shaping the future of the beverage industry in Africa.

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Company News

Apple’s Ambitious Electric Car Effort Comes to an End, Stock Rises



inside apple company

Apple Inc. has announced the termination of its decade-long effort to develop an electric car, marking the end of one of the company’s most ambitious projects.

The decision was disclosed internally on Tuesday, surprising nearly 2,000 employees involved in the project, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Vice President Kevin Lynch, who spearheaded the effort, informed staff that the project would wind down.

Many employees from the car team, known as the Special Projects Group, will transition to Apple’s artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea, focusing on generative AI projects.

The news brought a sense of relief to investors, with Apple’s stock climbing approximately 1% to $182.63 at the close of trading in New York.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., also celebrated the decision, signaling approval with a post on social media.

The end of the electric car project, named Project Titan, is a significant shift for Apple, which initially aimed to produce a fully autonomous electric vehicle with advanced features.

However, the endeavor faced challenges from its inception, including leadership changes and strategic shifts.

Despite investing substantial resources and talent, Apple found itself grappling with a cooling market for electric vehicles, sluggish sales growth, and manufacturing hurdles.

The company explored various designs and tested self-driving technology extensively but ultimately struggled to achieve breakthroughs in the competitive automotive industry.

Apple’s decision underscores its strategic shift towards prioritizing generative AI projects over automotive ventures.

While the end of the electric car project marks a notable chapter in Apple’s history, it signifies the company’s adaptability and focus on areas with long-term profitability potential.

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