By NKIRUKA NNOROM
HONEYWELL Flour Mills Plc, Vono Products Plc, University Press Plc, e-Transact International Plc, Forte Oil Plc and Vitafoam Nigeria Plc enjoyed investors’ patronage last week to emerge top on the list of top performing stocks.
Others that made the list include UAC of Nigeria Plc, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc, Eterna Plc and UACN Property Development Co. Plc.
Honeywell Flour Mills Plc led the rest with 26.09 per cent or N0.60 price increase, closing at N2.90 from N2.30 despite its declining financial. The company recorded 66 per cent decrease in profit before tax as the figure fell to N1.4 billion from N4.2 billion in the previous year. Also, its profit after tax fell to N1.1 billion compared to N3.4 billion achieved a year earlier, representing 67.6 per cent decline.
Its revenue for the period dropped to N49 billion, showing 11 per cent decline relative to N55 billion achieved in 2014. The poor financial performance, according to the company, is occasioned by the falling Naira, perennial chaotic traffic and debilitating condition of the roads leading in and out of Apapa. “Added to these, is a rise in dollar denominated input costs. Costs of wheat and spare parts have been rising because of the falling Naira to foreign exchange rates. These challenges coupled with weakening macro-economics of the country, means it takes much longer to factor such cost increments into product prices,” the Managing Director, Mr. Lanre Jaiyeola, said.
Vono Products Plc followed with 16.47 per cent or N0.14 appreciation, closing at N0.99 from N0.85 per share as investors continue to scramble for shares of the company over its proposed merger with Vitafioam Nigeria Plc. “Investors are going after Vono Products because of the proposed merger between the company and Vitafoam Nigeria.
The trend you saw early was due to early movers from investors that believed the valuation then stands in favour of Vono Products and now, it’s becoming more of public knowledge and investors are holding on to see final details,” Sewa Wusu, investment advisor and head of research at Sterling Capital Markets Limited, had said when the news of the proposed business combination broke about four months ago. The business combination, which both companies explained is more of information sharing, developing new ideas and pooling resources together, will help Vono regain its footing in the bedding and furniture industry. Vitafoam holds about 47.5 per cent equity in Vono Products.
Available financial report of the company for the second quarter ended March 31, 2015, showed 12.1 percent decline in revenue to N387.99 million from N441.59 million the previous year. It posted loss after tax of N20.25 million, up from N4.62 achieved in the same period in 2014.
University Press Plc closed as the third most priced stock for the week, rising by 10.19 per cent or N0.53 to close at N5.73 from N5.20 a year earlier. The company recorded a not-too-impressive outing for financial year ending March 31, 2015. Its revenue was down 29 per cent to N1.73 billion from N2.44 billion during the same period in 2014. Gross profit for the period was also down 17.11 per cent to N966.59 million from N1.17 billion in 2014, while profit after taxation and other operating (marketing, distribution & administrative) expenses was down 42 per cent to N136.39 million from N233.93 million.
University Press is the oldest Nigerian publisher and a leader in educational textbooks and general interest books. Its core competence is however in primary and secondary textbooks- where it derived over 90 per cent of its 2015 revenues and profits.
e-Transact’s shares rose by 9.09 per cent or N0.25 to close at N3.00 from N2.75. The company recorded 107.1 per cent increase in profit before tax to N280.22 million compared to N135.31 million posted in the same quarter in 2014. Its profit after tax grew by 91 per cent to N168.13 million in its first quarter ending March 31, 2015, as against N88.01 million in the previous quarter. The company’s revenue at N2.08 billion was 29.3 per cent increase over N1.61 billion recorded in 2014.
Forte Oil’s shares advanced by 8.25 per cent or N19.81 to close at N259.80 from N239.99; Vitafoam appreciated by 6.31 per cent or N0.35 to close at N5.90 from N5.55; UACN went up by 5.67 per cent or N1.70 to close at N31.70 from N30.00; Berger Paints advanced by 4.93 per cent or N0.49 to close at N10.42 from N9.93; Eterna Plc rose by 4.89 per cent or N0.09 to close at N1.93 from N1.84, while UPDC Plc recorded 4.88 per cent or N0.38 appreciation to close at N8.17 from N7.79 per share.