Firms Delight Investors with Growth Despite Continuing Bear Run

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By Goddy Egene

As the Nigerian equities market continues to bleed, only eight companies have put smiles on the faces of their investors  giving them positive returns  year-to-date (YTD), THISDAY checks have revealed.  The stock market has remained bearish since the beginning of the year,  affected by the   adverse economic climate characterised by declining oil prices, rising inflation and uncertainties around devaluation of the naira and the delay in signing of the 2016 budget.

Stocks have suffered significant depreciation while all the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share (ASI) and other sectoral indices have lost over 10 per cent YTD. Specifically, NSE ASI declined by 13.2 per cent as at last Friday. The NSE 30 Index shed 15 per cent, NSE Banking Index (15.1 per cent), NSE Consumer Index (21.4 per cent) and NSE Industrial (13.3 per cent).

However, in the midst of the rampaging bears, Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc (TBCG), Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, E-Tranzact Plc, A.G Leventis Plc,  International Breweries Plc, Academy Press Plc, NEM Insurance Plc and Learn Africa Plc have recorded YTD positive returns.

TBCG, which has been reacquired by Dangote Industries Plc (DIL), led the pack, delivering an unprecedented growth of 146 per cent. It was followed by Seplat with an appreciation of 67.5 per cent.

A.G Leventis Plc rose by 32.2 per cent. E-Tranzact Plc rose by 31.5 per cent just as International Breweries Plc appreciated by 25 per cent.  Academy Press Plc is up 21.8 per cent while NEM Insurance Plc and LearnAfrica Plc have fetched investors a YTD growth of 14.6 per cent and 14.1 per cent in that order.

The gain recorded by TBCG came recently following the reacquisition of the company DIL.  The company was sold to Tiger Brands, a leading South African fast moving consumer goods company in 2012.  But after years of losses, Tiger Brands announced its withdrawal of further funding in November 2015.

However, DIL  repurchased  TBCG last December and is now  making fresh efforts to reposition the firm and make it perform and deliver returns to shareholders like other subsidiaries in the Dangote Group.

Already, Asue Ighodalo, a renowned corporate lawyer and Chairman of Sterling Bank Plc has been appointed as its new chairman, while  Alhaji Ahmed Shehu Yakasai as executive director, Supply Chain and deputy chief executive officer, just as  Ms. Halima Dangote was appointed executive director, Commercial.

Besides, the shareholders of the company have approved that its name be changed from TBCG Plc to Dangote Flour Mills Plc.

Ighodalo recently assured shareholders that the board and management of the company  would continue to  mitigate the effect of the challenging operating environment and would work extremely hard to turn around the fortunes of the company.

He said following the repurchase of the entire shareholdings of Tiger Brands, additional capital has been injected into the company.

“Our processes and management have been strengthened in order to stabilise the business and place it on a sustainable path aimed at creating value for its stakeholders,” Ighodalo said.