Total Nigeria posted its second highest result with a profit of N8 billion in 2017 despite the economic headwinds of recession and the consequent contraction of the downstream market, according to Stanislas Mittelman, chairman of the board of the company.
Total’s profit for the year recorded a 46 percent decline to N8.0 billion from N14.8 billion, owing to rising business cost, a recessive 2017 start of the Nigeria’s economy and scarce foreign exchange among others.
Speaking at the 40th annual general meeting of the company in Lagos Thursday, Mittelman said though profit came in at N8 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, it represents the 2nd highest result ever in the history of total Nigeria Plc.
He also noted that scarcity of petrol due to high landing cost compared to the official template as well as FX scarcity hindering the importation of automobile gasoline oil (AGO) and aviation turbine kerosene (ATK) hampered higher profit generation.
High financing cost due to increased bank lending rates and reduction of the company’s credit terms for petrol purchases were likewise attributed by the chairman as clogs in the wheels of profit generation.
According to him, the future however looks promising for the oil firm, adding that opportunities for further growth depend largely on a stable and conducive business environment.
“The macroeconomic indices for Nigeria commenced on a good note with the build up of the excess crude account, a fairly stable exchange rate and a decreasing inflation. It would appear that the Nigerian economy is set to expand in 2018. We intend to take advantage of the projected growth the Nigerian economy will offer and deliver value to you our shareholders and other stakeholders,” Stanislas said.
The company, in the financial year under review, recorded a marginal decline in revenue from N291 billion in 2016 to N288 billion. This is just as shareholders funds grew by 20 percent to N28.2 billion from N23.6 billion in the prior year.
Nevertheless the company maintained the same dividend payout as in 2016, which amounts to N5.8 billion and represents N17 per every 50 kobo share held by shareholders.
One of the shareholders who identified himself as T. O. Adeboye thanked the company’s management for declaring the same dividend as last year, despite profit not being as commensurate as last year.
He however cautioned the company on rising administrative, finance cost as well as cost of sales observed in the company’s financial report, but commended an 847 percent year on year increase in the finance income of the company.
In the same vein, he urged the company to ramp up its solar power initiatives as a source of building up revenue streams.