By Yemie Adeoye
DESPITE the global financial meltdown that isis currently affecting several global business interests, African Petroleum Plc a leading company in the Nigerian oil and gas industry has sustained its return to greater profitability.
The Company made a whooping N7.147bn in the 2008 financial year as against N7.0bn in 2007; this performance shows an increase of 1.0%. Profit over the previous year.
The Gross Profit of the company also rose from N16.96billion to N27.01 billion representing an increase of 59.30%, while its Operating Profit rose from N8.3billion to N12.6billion.
The Management of AP Plc was able to leapfrog the complex ladder of the current global economic situation to achieve these impressive results because of its sound forecasting through its reinvigorated business intelligence systems; excellent customer service delivery and adherence to corporate governance as well as industry best practices.
The companyâ€™s Board proposal to pay N5.20 dividend per share, has shown its commitment to the investing public in spite of the N5.5 billion bank interest rate paid during the year. The dividend pay_out is an indication that the current Board of AP is determined to grow the companyâ€™s business in order toÂ sustain dividend payment to the companyâ€™s shareholders who endured the period of no_dividend which African Petroleum went through some few years ago, before the coming of the present Board and Management. Aside, the numbers of shareholders that will benefit from the dividend pay_out have increased from 788,787,383 units of shares to 958,886,610, following the allotment of the last Public Offer and Right Issues Offering recently concluded.
The Hybrid Offer proceeds will assist in providing more working capital and pursue investments that will enable the company deliver even better returns on in future.
In a related development the company has continued with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program as it commence then donation of crash helmets to the Northern part of Nigeria. Chairman/CEO, AP Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola had earlier promised that the company would spread the distribution of the helmets to other parts of the country, and in fulfilment of this pledge, AP Plc has released a timetable for the distribution of the helmets with kick_off ceremonies in three cities within the companyâ€™s other three regions of operations: Northeast, Northwest and Southeast.
For the Northeast region, the kick_off ceremony would be held in Kano on Thursday 9th July 2009 with the companyâ€™s General Manager, Treasury and Financial Operations, Mrs. Omolola Segun_Idahor launching the distribution. The Northwest region ceremony is scheduled for Thursday 16th July 2009 in Kaduna with the companyâ€™s General Manager, Marketing, Mr. Gbadebo Adegoke presiding at the launch. Mrs. Elizabeth Idigbe, AP Plcâ€™s General Manager,Human Resources/Corporate Service/Company Secretariat will lead the companyâ€™s delegation to the launch of the distribution in the Southeast region in Benin on 28th July 2009.
African Petroleum Plc, a responsible corporate citizen with CSR programmes that touch the lives of people where it matters most, has constantly shown its commitment to providing sustainable and practical contributions to projects and programmes that aim to improve the lives of the Nigerian people.
During the first phase of this CSR project, the companyâ€™s COO, Mr. Tunde Falasinnu said African Petroleum Plc decided to lend a helping hand by donating crash helmets to commercial motorcyclists in the country because of the companyâ€™s firm belief in the importance of road safety as the collective responsibility of all as well as in appreciation of the governmentâ€™s efforts through the Police, the FRSC and other relevant agencies in safeguarding the lives of road users.
Of worthy mention here is APâ€™s 2008 N50 per litre kerosene campaign which successfully made safe and unadulterated kerosene readily available at an affordable price to Nigerian households.
These and other projects that have been focussed on children with special needs show that the company is always ready to make a difference by lending a helping hand.