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Nigerian firms records 2056 loss COVID-19 jitters plunge



The total revenue generated by five of the major oil marketing companies in the country slumped by 40.79 per cent in the first half of this year, compared to the same period of 2019.

  The companies saw their combined revenue for the period ended June 30, 2020 decline by N204.52 billion to N296.90bn from N501.42bn in H1 2019.

  The unaudited financial statements of six of the oil marketing companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that three of them posted losses while the rest suffered profit declines.

  Our correspondent had reported in June that three of the seven oil marketing firms listed on the NSE posted a total loss of N1.57bn in the three months ended March 31, 2020, while two saw their profits fall by N3.58bn.

  Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of a French oil major, Total, recorded the biggest loss of N537.19m in the first half of the year compared to a profit after tax of N129.97m in the same period of 2019.

Its revenue fell by 29 per cent to N106.70bn from N150.83bn.

  Total is the only international oil company still operating in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

MRS Oil Nigeria Plc made a loss of N329.71m in the first half of the year, compared to N990.71m loss in the same period of 2019. The company saw its revenue drop to N23.68bn from N29.79bn.

Eterna Plc posted a loss of N66.58m in the period under review, up from N33.67m a year earlier. Its revenue tumbled to N28.52bn from N155.77bn.

  Ardova Plc, formerly Forte Oil Plc, reported that its profit after tax plunged to N1.01bn in the first half of the year from N5.45bn in the same of period of 2019, while its revenue grew to N87.31bn from N82.79bn.

  In June 2019, Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited became the majority shareholder in Forte Oil after the former majority shareholder, Mr Femi Otedola, divested his full 75 per cent direct and indirect shareholding in the company. The company’s name was changed to Ardova in January 2020.

  11Plc, formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, recorded a 40 per cent decline in its profit after tax, from N4.17bn in H1 2019 to N2.52bn in the same period of 2020. Its revenue drop to N80.54bn from N92.81bn.

The United States-based ExxonMobil sold its 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria in 2017 to NIPCO Investment Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nipco Plc in 2017.

  Conoil’s after-tax profit dipped by 67 per cent to N338.69m in the first half of the year from N1.03bn in H1 2019, while its revenue fell to N57.46bn from N72.22bn.

  The drop in the fuel marketers’ revenues came on the back of the lockdown imposed by the federal and state governments mostly in the second quarter of the year and the reduction in petrol pump price from March 19 to June 30.

Following the sharp drop in crude oil prices on the back of the spread of coronavirus, the pump price of petrol was reduced to N125 per litre from N145 per litre on March 18, 2020, effective March 19.

  The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced on March 31 a price band of N123.50 to N125 per litre, effective April 1. It announced a new price band of N121.50 to N123.50 on May 31.

11Plc, in its financial statements, noted that the COVID-19 crisis continued to impact all businesses, with the effect expected to be more pronounced in the future.

  It said, “At this stage, it is not possible to determine the financial impact of COVID-19 on our company, given the lack of visibility on the end date of the pandemic or on how long it would continue to impact the Nigerian economy.”

However, it said that the company had a strong balance sheet, adding that the board and management were focusing on efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the business.

  The number of workers on UK company payrolls slumped by a further 114,000 in July from June on the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Tuesday.

  A total of 730,000 positions have been shed since March when Britain went into lockdown over COVID-19, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

  The unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent, the ONS added.

The Bank of England last week warned that the rate would soar to around 7.5 percent by the end of the year following the closure of a UK government furlough scheme to subsidise workers’ wages.

  “The labour market continues recent trends, with a fall in employment and significantly reduced hours of work as many people are furloughed,” said Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics.

  The state has been paying up to 80 percent of wages for almost 10 million workers under its furlough scheme, who are not classified as unemployed.

  UK companies — from major retailers to airlines — are axing thousands of jobs despite government efforts to safeguard employment during the pandemic.

  “The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs.

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