By Peter Egwuatu
Oando Plc, one of theÂ Nigeriaâ€™s leading integrated energy provider, has recorded 19 per cent increase in Profit After Tax (PAT) for the unaudited third quarter results ended September 30, 2009. The company posted N6.64 billion in net profit compared with N5.56 billion the same period the year prior.
As projected, non-marketing portfolios have continued to actively contribute to the groupâ€™s performance in line with the companyâ€™s diversification strategy; besides improved operational efficiency and superior working capital management, this result is attributable to increased contributions from natural gas and monetisation of our upstream businesses.
Oando, which has a primary listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (â€œNSEâ€) and a secondary listing on the JSE Limited in Johannesburg, also reported a 7% increase in turnover of N343 billion for the same period, compared with N320 billion in the corresponding quarter in 2008.
In addition, the recirded an impressive 107 per cent in the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) to N20 billion compared with N9.5b recorded within the same period in 2008.
The difficult times notwithstanding, Oando sustained its diversification programme and industry leadership as the period witnessed further investments and in the natural gas and upstream businesses. During this quarter, the group signed an MOU with Gazprom, Europeâ€™s largest gas operator, to jointly develop projects in multiple sectors of Nigeriaâ€™s oil and gas industry.
It also made inroad into Ghanaâ€™s gas market with its selection as Strategic Partner to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to develop assets and infrastructure to harness natural gas resources from the countryâ€™s offshore Jubilee oilfield.
Meanwhile, the upstream division further strengthened its presence in the sector as it secured approval from Nigeriaâ€™s Ministry of Petroleum Resources to acquire 75% working interest in Exileâ€™s 40 per cent interest in the Akepo field.
Commenting on the results Mr. Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive Officer said: â€œOur third Quarter 2009 results emphasized the versatility of our integrated and diversified business portfolio, which thrived in the face of a challenging local operating environment mired by the ongoing banking sector reforms.â€
According to him â€œ The Upstream portfolio continued to impact on the groupâ€™s performance as the Exploration & Production division lifted its maiden equity crude oil cargo from OML 125. The Energy Services division commenced its $150M drilling contract with an International Oil Company, whilst the Gas & Power division continued to increase revenue as new customer connects were secured in Lagos.
â€œWe eagerly await the commissioning of our first captive power plant in Lagos and the completion of our new pipeline system in South-East Nigeria.
The expansion and monetisation of our Upstream division will continue to be the bedrock of future growth plans as we increase crude oil production rates from further development of our Upstream assets. We remain confident of a positive year end.â€ Tinubu stressed
While the Group continues to show resilience across its different businesses, the rest of the year presents a more promising