Forte Oil office
Shares in Forte Oil Plc rose by 6.5 per cent at the stock market yesterday as investors reacted to the company’s announcement of 63 per cent growth in profit for the half year-ended June 31, 2013.
The equity, which has witnessed an unprecedented growth so far this year, closed at N42 per share, up from N39 per share the previous day.
The petroleum marketing firm announced a profit after tax of N1.392 billion, showing an increase of 63 per cent from N855 million achieved in the corresponding period of 2012.
Forte Oil’s revenue grew by 21 per cent from N49 billion in 2012 to N59.9 billion in 2013. However, cost curtailment measures, which led to a drastic reduction in finance, distribution and administrative cost, resulted in a higher growth of 63 per cent in profit after tax at N1.392 billion.
According to the company, the growth in revenue was facilitated by an increase in petroleum product sales as the company was determined to grow its market share.
“An improvement in operational efficiency and optimised distribution and logistics drove down cost of administration, whist increasing overall profitability,” the firm said.
Based on the half-year performance, the Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer, Forte Oil, Mr. Julius Omodayo-Owotuga, has assured shareholders of a robust dividend payout at the end of the current operating year.
He said: "In line with our transformation programme, we will be paying a robust dividend at the end of the 2013 fiscal year. We have specific milestones in our transformation programme that should trigger various actions. We are clearly achieving these milestones earlier than envisaged and we would reflect these in our dividend decisions. We will, however, balance our shareholders' dividend expectations with our internal growth requirements."
Meanwhile, trading at the stock market remained positive for the second day, following reactions to half-year corporate performance announcements by companies.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by 0.64 per cent to close at 37,806.45 while market capitalisation added N78 billion to close at N11.973 trillion.