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African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA

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Ethiopian AIrlines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.

The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.

The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.

Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.

Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.

IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.

However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.

He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.

Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.

Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.

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Appointments

Seplat Energy Names Udoma Udo Udoma as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Bello Rabiu as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy, a prominent Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has made significant changes to its board leadership.

In a recent announcement, the company revealed that Udoma Udo Udoma has been appointed as the new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Basil Omiyi, who is set to retire on March 31, 2024.

Udoma Udo Udoma, a distinguished lawyer and seasoned board administrator, brings a wealth of experience to Seplat Energy.

He holds degrees from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and has had a remarkable career spanning various sectors, including petroleum, energy, and natural resources.

Udoma has served on numerous large-sized company boards, including UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc, and held key public sector appointments, such as Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Budget & National Planning.

In addition to Udoma’s appointment, Seplat Energy announced the selection of Bello Rabiu as the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024.

Rabiu, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the petroleum industry, holds multiple degrees and has served in various capacities at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The appointments come as part of Seplat Energy’s commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

Both Udoma Udo Udoma and Bello Rabiu are expected to play pivotal roles in guiding Seplat Energy as it continues to expand its operations and consolidate its position as a leading energy company in Nigeria and beyond.

In a statement, Basil Omiyi, the outgoing Chairman of Seplat Energy, expressed confidence in the newly appointed leaders, emphasizing their capabilities to steer the company towards further growth and success.

The appointments underscore Seplat Energy’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in the energy sector while meeting the evolving needs of its stakeholders and contributing to Nigeria’s energy transition efforts.

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Merger and Acquisition

EnjoyCorp Limited Secures Strategic Acquisition of Champion Breweries Plc

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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

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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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