By Goddy Egene
The Nigerian equities market sustained its bullish trading yesterday as the main index gained 1.03 per cent to close higher at 24,452.23, while the market capitalisation added N130 billion to print at N12.7 trillion. The market has been bullish in the past three days as investors responded corporate actions being announced by listed firms. The bulls were in total control of the market yesterday as 37 equities appreciated compared with only five that depreciated.
Redstar Express Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Jiaz Bank Plc with 9.0 per cent. LASACO Assurance Plc chalked up 8.7 per cent just as WAPIC Insurance Plc and Transcorp Plc garnered 6.9 per cent and 5.4 per cent in that order.
However, gains by Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and BUA Cement Plc boosted the major leap recorded at the market. Market operators said investors were reacting to the N61 billion profit reported by BUA Cement and a dividend of N1.75 per share recommended by the board.
Details of the financial performance showed that BUA Cement recorded revenue of N175.518 billion in 2019, up from N119.013 billion in 2018. Cos of sales jumped from N59.060 billion to N93.075 billion in 2019. Gross profit stood at N82.443 billion in 2019, compared with 59.952 billion in 2018.
The management strived to contain administrative expenses from N12.522 billion to N10.516 billion in 2019. However, distribution and selling expenses soared from N6.081 billion to N11.844 billion in 2019.
Operating profit printed at N71.428 billion in 2019, up from N42.842 billion in 2018. Net financing cost increased from N3.675 billion to N5.192 billion.
But a tax payment of N5.625 billion in 2019 as against a tax credit of N24.905 billion in 2018, made BUA Cement to end the year with profit after tax of N60.610 billion compared with N64.072 billion in 2018. Based on the performance, the board has recommended a dividend of N1.75 per share.
Commenting on the results, Managing Director of BUA Cement, Yusuf Binji said,:” Through the adoption of a focused and disciplined approach, we continue to record strong revenue growth, even as we derive revenue and cost synergies from the merger across: pricing, scale and operational efficiencies; all supported by a sustainable business model and a value-oriented strategy, which have translated to growing market acceptance and is reflective in our margins.”