By Peter Egwuatu
Oando Plc, an indigenous energy group, on MondayÂ announced a N13.5 billion gross profit for the year ended December, 31 2009, representing a 26 per centÂ increase from N10.7 billion over the same period in 2008.
According to the result sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 21 per centÂ to N10.1 billion from N8.3 billion in 2008.
The companyâ€™s Board of Directors recommended the payment of a final dividend of N3.00 per each ordinary share of 50 kobo as well as an issuance of bonus shares of 1 ordinary share of 50 kobo each for every 2 shares of 50 kobo each to its shareholders.
Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director, Oando Plc said that the Groupâ€™s consistent growth was recorded amidst persistent challenges in the operating environment which validates the companyâ€™s diversified business model.
According to him, â€œ In spite of the enormous difficulties faced by businesses during the year under review, the Group was more profitable over the companyâ€™s performance for the year ended 2008.Â This is a testimony to Oandoâ€™s drive towards excellence and leadership in providing diverse energy solutions across the entire spectrum of the energy value chain.â€
During the year under review, Oando significantly broadened its portfolio of assets and revenue potential with further investments in Independent Power Production (IPP), the 128 km natural gas pipeline expansion in the South_East as well as the acquisition of two rigs to grow its fleet to five swamp drilling platforms.
The results under review show thatÂ turnover dipped by oneÂ per centÂ from N339.4 billion in 2008 compared with N336.9 billion achieved in 2009. The decline is attributable to the decision of the Supply and Trading division to suspend further importation of petroleum products as a result of Governmentâ€™s delay in paying the Petroleum Subsidy Fund receivables (PSF). As a result, the Marketing division was also unable to meet demand due to the resultant product shortages. The effects were however cushioned by the increased revenue from the Gas division and the commencement of rigs drilling operations by the Energy Services division.
Speaking further, Tinubu said,Â â€œWe had notable achievements in the upstream business; successful production tests on Akepo 1 oil well, commencement of production from Obodeti/Obodugwa oilfields and the commencement of deployment of our rigs fleet with International Oil Companies contracts in the Niger Delta.â€
Oandoâ€™s Gas and Power division continues to increase customer connects on its Greater Lagos 3 pipeline grid thereby boosting the Groupâ€™s performance. While with prudent cash and account receivable management, its Marketing company sustained market leadership and still recorded significant contributions to the bottom line.
During 2010, Oando expects to explore further opportunities for the acquisition of producing assets. In addition, the Group has since commissioned its first independent power plant constructed to produce and sell power to the Lagos State Water Corporation. This is already boosting revenue for the Gas and Power division.
The downstream businesses are anticipating a definite position from the Nigerian government on deregulation of the sector. Meanwhile, the Group aims to consolidate the dominant position of its Supply and Trading division in the West African market.
Energy Services aims to continue its rigs deployment as two of its fleet of five rigs are currently in operation, and two are in an advanced stage of a competitive tender.
â€œAs we commence a new operating year, we are confident in our ability to creatively maximise industry opportunities, and leverage synergies in a bid to consistently deliver, year-on-year, value creation for shareholdersâ€, Tinubu noted