By UDUMA KALU, WITH AGENCY REPORT
Renowned international journal, Forbes, has said Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is now 25th richest man in the world.
Forbes also said Dangote is now the first African entrepreneur to lay claim to a $20 billion fortune as the stock value of his largest holding, Dangote Cement, leaped just three months after it released its annual ranking of the world’s richest people.
The report noted that Aliko Dangote’s 93 percent stake in the cement company is now worth $19.5 billion.
This was in addition to his controlling stakes in other publicly-listed companies like Dangote Sugar and National Salt Company of Nigeria and his significant shareholdings in other blue-chips like Zenith Bank, UBA Group and Dangote Flour.
His extensive real estate portfolio, jets, yachts and current cash position, which includes more than $300 million in recently awarded Dangote Cement dividends, Dangote is now worth more than $20 billion. The price is largely a market response to the company’s impressive 2013 Q1 results.
The cement manufacturer’s unaudited results for the three months, ending on March 31, showed that the company’s pre-tax profit rose to $339 million, representing an 80.6 percent increase from last year and a strong indicator of the company’s future earning potential.
The results also indicate a 79.5 percent rise in its earnings per share over the corresponding period last year.
Explaining the company’s share price boost, Carl Franklin, Dangote Cement’s Head of Investor Relations in the U.K said in the first quarter of 2013, the company had a huge increase in demand across Nigeria, gas supply improved considerably and the capacity was much more ramped up.
“So Q1 was the first sign of just how profitable we can be in Nigeria. The amazing thing is that 66 percent of our gas-fired production in Q1 was done at 84 percent gas.
“Imagine what would happen to margins if we did the same amount at 95 percent. This has given investors a good sense of what we can really do when everything goes in the right direction”.
With a current market cap of $20.5 billion, Dangote Cement becomes the first Nigerian company to achieve a market capitalization of over $20 billion.
“It’s certainly a landmark for a Nigerian company and we’re proud to be the first to achieve it. Obviously, we are focusing on building long-term and sustainable value for shareholders through our investments in Nigeria and Africa.
Nigeria is a very entrepreneurial country and I can assure you that other companies will follow us in achieving this.”
Other companies might eventually achieve this, but it’s going to take a bit of time. Dangote Cement currently accounts for more than a quarter of the total market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The second largest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,NSE, is currently Nigerian Breweries, West Africa’s largest manufacturer of Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The company has a market cap of $8.5 billion.
Dangote debuted on the FORBES billionaires list in 2008 with a fortune we pegged at $3.3 billion. His fortune dropped to $2.5 billion in 2009 and plunged further to $2.1 billion in 2010. His fortune surged 557 percent in 2011 to $13.8 billion after he took Dangote Cement public. He dropped to $11.2 billion in last year’s rankings, but rebounded at $16.1 billion this year. Since March, his fortune has jumped another 30 percent.