Unilever Nigeria Plc emerged investors toast last week, rising by 15.75 per cent or N4.95 to close at N36.38 from N31.43, followed by Eterna Plc, which appreciated by 12.42 per cent or N0.20 to close at N1.81 from N1.61. UACN Property Development Co Plc went up by 10.14 per cent or N0.67 to close at N7.28 from N6.61; Dangote Flour Mills Plc trailed behind by 9.52 per cent or N0.22 to close at N2.53 from N2.31; Ikeja Hotels Plc rose by 8.44 per cent or N0.27 to close at N3.47 from N3.20, while Chemical and Allied Products Plc appreciated by 7.76 per cent or N2.95 to close at N40.95 from N38.00 per share.
Others include P.Z Industries that advanced by 6.91 per cent or N1.68 to close at N26.00 from N24.32; Fidson Healthcare went up by 6.76 per cent or N0.19 to close at N3.00 from N2.81; Access Bank Plc appreciated by 5.15 per cent or N0.23 to close at N4.70 from N4.47, while United Bank for Africa Plc closed as the last of the top 10 performers, advancing by five per cent or N0.18 to close at N3.78 from N3.60.
Early this year, Unilever Overseas Plc, the parent company of Unilever Nig. Plc, which topped the list, increased its stake in Unilever from 50.0 per cent to a maximum of 75 per cent. Under the terms of the proposal, Unilever acquired about 944.5 million shares in the Unilever Nigeria at an offer price of N45.50 per share in cash. The transaction was effected by way of a Tender Offer, by giving any shareholder who elects to sell some or all of their shares in Unilever Nigeria the opportunity to do so. The proposal represented a premium of 33.8 per cent to the company’s closing share price on 23 March 2015 and a premium of 33.2 per cent to the three month Volume Weighted Average share price. The total value of the transaction at the offer price and maximum acceptance was approximately N42.973 billion
Meanwhile, Unilever has been suffering under heavy interest cost and dwindling bottom-line. For the first quarter ended march 30, 2015, the company reported 21 per cent decline in profit before tax (PBT) to N864.742 million from N1.089 billion in Q1, 2014. Also, profit after tax (PAT) declined by 21 per cent to N590.448 million from N750.629 million in the corresponding quarter of 2014. The dwindling fortune was consolidated in the second quarter to June, 2015 as the company recorded loss after tax of N504.86 million from profit position of N713.94 million. It also recorded negative earnings per share of 0.13kobo as against 0.19 kobo earnings per share in the corresponding period in 2014. The revenue closed weaker at N13.8 billion compared to N15.46 billion in H1, 2014.
For Eterna Plc, which closed as the second most traded stock in the week, is burdened by increasing cost. Though the company achieved 342 per cent increase in revenue for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015 to N 61.73 billion, it recorded a decline in other performance indicators following 374 per cent rise in its cost of sales and 32 per cent increase in distribution and administrative expenses. Specifically, the cost of sales rose to N60.1 billion from N12.7 billion recorded a year earlier, while its distribution and administrative expenses rose to N755.33 million as against N571.07 million in second quarter in 2014. Consequently, it recorded loss after tax of N200.47 million during the period from another loss position of N194.74 million in 2014. The profit after tax fell by 10 per cent from N622.57 million in 2014 to N598.36 million during the review period.
UACN Property Develop-ment, the third on the list, rewarded the unit holders in the UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with a total dividend of 87 kobo per unit for the 19 month period ended December 31, 2014.
An interim distribution of N0.56k was earlier made to unit holders for the 13-month period ended June 30, 2014 before the final distribution of 31 kobo announced at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.