The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced December 31, 2013, that Forte Oil plc (formerly AP plc), Nigeria’s foremost indigenous major marketer of refined petroleum products, and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria plc have been enlisted into the NSE 30 Index, a league of the Exchange’s most capitalised stocks, thereby commencing the new year as one of the elite stocks in one of Africa’s most viable bourses.
The NSE in February 2009, began publishing a new index called the NSE 30 Index, with the primary objective of providing an investable benchmark to capture the performance of the Nigerian stock market. The NSE 30 includes the top 30 companies in terms of market capitalisation and liquidity.
NSE stakeholders and analysts have attributed Forte Oil’s and Transcorp’s exemplary price appreciation and growth on the Exchange to the companies’ incremental performances in 2013, and their investments in the Nigeria’s power sector – seen by many as the next nexus of growth in the Nigerian economy.
Indeed, Forte Oil successfully acquired 414 megawatt Geregu Power Plant located in Kogi State of Nigeria under the Federal Government-led privatisation of public power assets, while Transcorp acquired Ughelli Power located in Delta State (now Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited). Forte Oil says it is seeking to carve a niche in the power generation sector.
The company, which embarked on a transformation programme two years ago, says the power investment is part of its business growth strategy to diversify from its primary business of petroleum products marketing into related high margin business such as upstream exploration and production, etc, that would guarantee continued increase in shareholder value.
The Group declared N3.2 billion profit before tax in its 2013 third quarter results, recording a 258 percent increase compared with N0.9 billion same period in 2012.In the same vein, profit after tax increased 317 percent to N2.7 billion compared with N0.7 billion delivered same period in 2012, while revenue increased 29 percent to N92 billion compared with N71billion recorded same period in 2012.
Overall, Forte Oil’s profitability outperformed its third quarter projection of N2.6 billion profit after tax, while the N92 billion revenue recorded in Q3 2013 also surpassed the N78 billion expected in the period under review, as the Group pushed to regain market share.
By: IHEANYI NWACHUKWU