Conoil Plc recorded double-digit growths in sales and profitability in the first half of this year, with pre-tax profit rising by 29 per cent to N809.78 million within the six-month period.
Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of Conoil for the period ended June 30, 2018 released yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that turnover rose by 21.3 per cent while pre and post tax profits grew by 29 per cent and 28.9 per cent respectively. Earnings per share consequently improved by 28.9 per cent.
Turnover rose from N44.93 billion in first half 2017 to N54.48 billion in first half 2018. Gross profit rose from N5.99 billion to N6.39 billion. Profit before tax increased to N809.78 million as against N627.91 million while profit after tax rose from N427.29 million in first half 2017 to N550.65 million in first half 2018. Earnings per share increased from 62 kobo to 79 kobo, raising the capacity of the company to increase dividend payment.
Further analysis showed improvement in the underlying profitability of the company as management continued to focus on mid-line expenses. While gross margin declined from 13.33 per cent to 11.73 per cent due to increase in cost of sales, the company drew on internal cost management to improve underlying profitability. Pre-tax profit margin-which measures the underlying profitability of a company, increased from 1.40 per cent in first half 2017 to 1.49 per cent in first half 2018.
Conoil had paid N1.4 billion cash dividend for the 2017 business year, representing a dividend per share of N2.
In his address to the shareholders last month, Conoil Plc Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jr), had outlined many initiatives that will drive long-term growth of the downstream oil company and deliver competitive returns to shareholders.
He said the company would focus on further consolidation of its competitiveness in the different segments of its business with new investments in technologies, innovations and operating efficiency.
He noted that Conoil will maintain its leadership position in the downstream petroleum sector by building a stronger financial position and creating higher values for its shareholders.
According to him, conscious efforts will be directed at achieving better execution of value-added products and services especially in the areas of marketing and customer management.
“The company’s policy of continual investment and review of our business processes to boost efficiency has been paying off, as this has been a very important part of our success story. We have, for several years now, ensured that our strategy remained constant, proven and effective, which is designed to improve returns and grow value for shareholders by focusing on our market strengths without jeopardizing the development of our diverse portfolios,” Adenuga stated.
He pointed out that the company’s focus going forward will develop emerging markets while holding its grounds in areas where it has achieved competitive advantage.
He noted that while the company has been expanding its retail network across the country, it has also been revamping its non-fuel retail business to achieve future growth targets.
“I have no doubt that our strategies for growth are promising. We will remain disciplined in our approach as we work harder more than ever before to deliver value to our customers and expand our capabilities in all fronts,” Adenuga stated.