Lafarge Africa has revealed that it posted a loss of N34.6bn after tax, on the back of a profit of N16.9bn last term. This was clearly as a result of a disappointing Half Year, which saw the cement manufacturing giant record a loss of N18bn in the third quarter Q3 and a loss of N35.5bn in the fourth quarter Q4.
This has been the case for Lafarge despite having declared a gross revenue of N299.2bn to both its numerous shareholders and the Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE it is quite surprising that revenue jump up by a 36.2per cent margin, Lafarge still posted a loss in the 2017 fiscal year FY.
However, it seems the loss can be traced to the finance charge for the 2017 FY, which was a whooping N43.2bn. A far cry from that of the 2016 FY, which was N25.91bn. Serviced loans, in the Q4 of 2017, also gulped N33bn. The cost of sales for Lafarge Africa in the 2017 FY, was N284.4bn, a huge leap from N179.3bn posted in the 2016 FY.
These figures, from all indications, were the determinant factors that resulted to this rather disappointing loss in the 2017 FY, for Lafarge Africa. The management of the company has also come out to say that the cost of logistics and transportation was their greatest undoing during the just ended fiscal year. With Lafarge Africa now offering its dividends at N1.50 per share, serious shareholders in the company will likely not take this lightly, compared to share dividend offered by Lafarge in 2016 which was N3.00.
In other related news, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally declared his intention to re-run for his office in the upcoming 2019 general elections. As obviously expected, mixed reactions have trailed the president’s announcement, across Nigeria and in the diaspora. But one group of people that don’t seem to find this funny, is the investors – both local and foreign.
And swiftly, did they respond. The Nigerian Stock Exchange market lost N150bn, immediately after President Buhari made his declaration. One wouldn’t blame the investors for taking to flight. As far as most of them are concerned, their faith in Nigeria’s number one citizen has waned. His rather vague and ill-fated policies and his penchant for looking the other way when called upon…has given investors one more migraine too many, to handle.
The political atmosphere in the country right now, hasn’t been the most favorable for investments to thrive bountifully. Hence the scramble by investors to sell-off…isn’t just as a result of poor posting in the FY result sheets of companies such as Lafarge Africa. A certain mistrust for the uncertain ways of Mr President, is certainly a major contributing factor to the flight of the investors.