By Peter Egwuatu
SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc has explained that its plan for acquisition of plant to boost production is still on course, just as it assured shareholders of capital appreciation. The company also reiterated its commitment to stronger growth in the oil and gas sector.
Seplat announced N228 billion revenue in its full year financial result ended December 31, 2018. The figure represents an increase of 65 per cent from the N137 billion the company made in the 2017. Seplat, which is listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, also recorded N73 billion profit before differed tax, indicating 480 per cent increase from N13 billion which the company made over the same period in 2017.
In his address to shareholders at sixth annual general meeting, AGM, held in Lagos, Chairman, Seplat Petroleum Plc ,Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako, said: “The company’s 2018 operational and financial performance reflected the significantly higher year-on-year levels of production uptime at its core oil producing assets combined with a firmer, albeit still volatile, oil price and increased contribution from the company’s gas business. Our plan for acquisition of plant to grow organically is still on course. Once we are able to get valuable asset to acquire we will go for it.
He added: “As you are aware, our results from the previous two years were characterised by the extended period of force majeure at the Forcados terminal from February 2016 to June 2017. As we enter 2019, our reliable production base, low unit cost of production and discretion over capital commitments will allow the business to remain highly free cash flow generative and profitable. In the absence of any major interruption or force majeure event, this will enable Seplat to honour its dividend policy and provide an attractive yield to our shareholders in addition to the potential for capital appreciation.”
According to Orjiako, the company will selectively invest in low risk oil production drilling opportunities within the existing portfolio and the continued expansion of the gas business, with 2019 set to be the year that activity intensifies at the large scale Assa-North and Ohaji-South, ANOH, gas and condensate development.
He added: “Seplat remains an ambitious growth-orientated company that is in a position of strength to capture inorganic opportunities where we can leverage our competitive advantages to seek out carefully considered, price disciplined and value accretive acquisitions. Finally, I would like to thank all our employees and wider stakeholders for their efforts and continuing support and I look forward to updating all of our stakeholders on our progress throughout the year ahead.”
Also speaking at the AGM, the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum, Mr. Austin Avuru, said: “Seplat has delivered an excellent operational and financial performance resulting in robust profitability and cash flow generation providing us with an extremely solid foundation for growth in the coming years. At our core assets in the West, OMLs 4, 38 and 41, the extension of the license to 2038 means that we can confidently plan and invest long into the future to realise the full potential of those blocks.”