By Nkiruka Nnorom
On the top 10 performing stocks last week were the shares of Aiico Insurance Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, E-Transact International Plc, Portland Paints and Products Plc, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc and Eterna Plc.
The rest were Conoil Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Learn Africa Plc.
Aiico Insurance Plc led the pack with 16.05 per cent or N0.13 price appreciation, closing at N0.94 from N0.81 per share. Aiico recently secured N3.8 billion convertible loan from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support its expansion drive. According to the underwriting firm, the plan to expand its insurance services in the country will help to increase economic security, as well as create the development of new asset pools that can be invested in order to support economic development, including job creation.
Available financial report of the underwriting firm for the year ended December 31, 2014 showed that it has returned to profitability. During the period, it posted a profit after tax (PAT) of N2.23 billion as against N759.23 million losses recorded in the corresponding period in 2013.
However, its underwriting capacity was weak as gross premium income (GPI) went down by 12.40 percent to N20.42 billion in 2014 as against N23.31 billion in 2013, while net premium income fell by 10.97 percent to N16.22 billion as against N18.22 billion in 2013.
The underwriting firm has increased its assets base as total assets surged by 38.47 percent to N58.33 billion in 2014 from N42.10 billion as of December 2013.
The impressive performance is not a reflection of the insurance industry. In 2013, AIICO won the marketing magazine and marketing world award as the Insurance Brand of the year due to its underwriting excellent in Nigeria.
Continental Re closed as the second top gainer in the week, rising by 15.29 per cent or N0.13 to close at n0.98 from N0.85 per share. Having fallen short of its post-listing rule obligation to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the company was slammed N900, 000 fines by the Exchange for defaulting in filling its year-end financial statement for the period ended December 2013. Its financial statement for period, which was later made public, indicated a mixed performance.
profit fell to N1.3 billion in 2014 from N1.68 billion in 2013, while the profit after tax declined by 51.1 per cent to N856 million from N1.75 billion in the corresponding period in 2013. E-transact’s share rose by 15.17 per cent or N0.32 to close at N2.43 from N2.11 per share. Just like Continental Re, the company got N2.7 million as fine for late filling of 2013 full year financial reports to the Exchange. The company recorded a profit after tax of N168.1 million and N328.2 million respectively for the first and second quarters of 2015. This took its half-year profit in 2015
to N496.3 million. E-transact had assured investors of its desire to consolidate on profitability with new relationships, enhancing and deepening existing ones and exploring new partnerships locally and internationally.
Portland Paints trailed behind with 15.13 per cent or N0.54 appreciation, closing at N4.11 from N3.57 per share. The company is presently planning Rights Issue to raise additional capital to pursue its plan of improving returns and addressing its high leverage position of the company and other business expansion plans. The company recorded an impressive performance in 2014 as its profit after tax rose by 159 per cent from N57.3 million in 2013 to N148.6 million in 2014. Its operational profit also grew from N174.3 million to N304.5 million during the period.
Caverton achieved 14.63 per cent or N0.43 increase, closing at N3.37 from N2.94 per share; Eterna Plc advanced by 11.43 per cent or N0.20 to N1.96 from N1.75; Conoil went up by 10.20 per cent or N2.63 to close at N28.41 from N25.78; FMN gained 10.12 per cent or N2.17 to close at N23.62 from N21.45; UBA advanced by 8.83 per cent or N0.34 to close at N4.19 from N3.85, while Learn Africa Plc rose by 7.95 per cent or N0.07 to close at N0.95 from N0.88 per share.