The Nigerian equities market closed in the green yesterday after opening on negative note the previous day. Price gains by some highly capitalised stocks such as Dangote Cement Plc, Transcorp Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc boosted the performance. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by 2.23 per cent to close higher at 25,129.27, while market capitalisation closed at N8.697 trillion.
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However, Transcorp Plc led the price gainer’s chart in percentage terms with 7.14 per cent, trailed by Guinness Nigeria Plc and Dangote Cement Plc with 4.9 per cent apiece.
The growth recorded in the market is believed to have been bolstered majorly by Dangote Cement, which has the highest capitalisation in the market.
The company last week declared a dividend of N8.50 per share for the year ended December 31, 2016. According to the audited results of the leading cement manufacturing firm, revenue grew by 25 per cent from N492 billion in 2015 to N615 billion in 2016. Gross profit stood at N291 billion, up from N289 billion in 2015. A further analysis of the results showed that administrative expenses rose by 12 per cent to N36.7 billion in 2016, from N32.5 billion in 2015. Selling and distribution expenses followed similar trajectory, jumping by 54 per cent from N53.5 billion to N82.6 billion, depressing profit from operating activities to N182 billion in 2016, from N208 billion in 2015. Financing costs rose by 14 per cent to N45 billion, from N33 billion, making profit before tax to be at N180 billion as against N188 billion in 2015.
However, a tax credit recorded by the company lifted its before after tax to N187 billion from N181 billion in 2015.
Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement, Mr. Onne van der Weijde said: “It was a challenging year for many African economies but we achieved sales and revenue growth of 25 per cent and consolidated our position as Africa’s leading producer of cement. Sales from Nigerian operations increased by 13.8 per cent to nearly 15.1metric tonnes(Mt), at a growth rate far higher than the country’s GDP, which fell in 2016.
“The New Year has started well and we expect much higher profitability in Nigeria in 2017, even though we may not see the volume growth we achieved in 2016. I am confident that we will deliver an even stronger performance in 2017 as we increase market share and extend our reach across Africa,” he said.
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