Total Nigeria Plc yesterday reported its audited results, showing a 42 per cent drop in profit before tax from N20.353 billion to N11.795 billion, while profit after tax depreciated by 46 per cent from N14.794 billion to N8.019 billion.
The results also showed that the oil firm recorded a turnover of N288.1 billion, down from N291 billion in 2016. Cost of sale rose from N241.9 billion to N258.8 billion. Gross profit fell from N49.1billion to N29.3 billion. Finance cost jumped from N852 million to N3.1 billion.
Despite the decline in profits, the company has recommended a final dividend of N14.00 per share for the year ended December 31, 2017, bringing the total dividend for the year to N17.00, having paid an interim dividend of N3.00 last year.
The Chairman of Total Nigeria Plc had last year restated the firmâ€™s commitment to growing its business in Nigeria in particular and Africa at large.
The Chairman of Total Nigeria Mr. Stanislas Mittelman, who disclosed this at the 2016 annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos, assured that the company would continue to invest in the Nigeria and African business to grow its market share and boost profitability.
â€œSome international competitors made strong choices years ago to withdraw from Nigeria for most of them to raise loan from Africa. As far as Total is concerned, we made an opposite strategy, we keep investing in Africa. Today Africa is, of course with France, a core of our business especially the downstream business. Our ambition is not to withdraw or divest but to grow with all our strength.
Mittelman disclosed that the company was developing its solar business with ambition to cover all the different parts of solar business.
He informed the shareholders that the company would continue to invest in its lubricant facilities as well as improve the depots and logistics. Although he said 2017 would be a challenging year, he assured them the company would continue to grow in all indices for enhanced shareholdersâ€™ value and improve its customer service delivery.
Meanwhile, the equity market closed on a bearish note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 0.66 per cent to close at 42,299.56.
The fall resulted from a renewed sell pressure amidst weakening investorsâ€™ sentiment.