The Nigerian equities gained N810 billion in capitalisation following a bull run for 13 trading days. The renewed demand for equities on the Nigerian bourse lifted the market capitalisation from N11.133trillion on July 5, to N11.945 trillion on Monday, July 24, 2017.
Although the return of more foreign portfolio investors due to the introduction of a new foreign exchange window by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in April had influenced the return of the bulls to the market, expectations that companies would release improved corporate results for the first half (H1) of the year helped to sustain the momentum.
The development made the market to appreciate for 13 consecutive trading days, leading to a gain of N810 billion or 7.3 per cent. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by same margin from 32,302.32 to close at 34,652.52. The market appreciated every trading day from July 6 to Monday, July 24.
Market analysts said investors have been taking position ahead of H1 corporate announcements. The results so far released showed improved performance compared to the previous year.
For instance, Unilever Nigeria posted a revenue of N45.105 billion in H1 of 2017, up 39 per cent from N32.278 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Cost of sales was up at N32.197 billion in 2017. Sales and distribution expenses also went up from N1.502 billion to N1.942 billion in 2016.
However, marketing and administrative expenses reduced from N6.689 billion to N5.571 billion. Unilever ended the period with profit before tax (PBT) of N5.044 billion, compared with N1.487 billion in 2016, showing a growth of 239 per cent, while profit after tax (PAT) stood at N3.676 billion, up by 236 per cent from N1.093 billion in 2016.
Lafarge Africa posted N154.8 billion, indicating an increase of 44.2 per cent from N107.3 billion in 2016. Cost of sale grew by 19.7 per cent from N92.2 billion to N110 billion, while sales and marketing expenses followed same uptrend to hit N2.12 billion, from N1.98 billion. Administrative expenses rose from N10.23 billion to N16.3 billion.
Technical fees soared by 202 per cent from N1.584 billion in 2016 to N4.798 billion in 2017. But the company ended the H1 with PBT of N18.2 billion, compared a loss of N30.2 billion in 2016, while PAT stood at N19.7 billion.
Also, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, which released its results on Monday, recorded PAT of N4.164 billion recorded in H1 of 2017, compared with a loss of N12.191 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2016.
Specifically, Transcorp Plc recorded revenue of N32.174 billion in 2017, up from N24.779 billion in 2016. Cost of sale stood at N19.3 billion, as against N13.3 billion in 2016, while administrative expenses rose to N5.663 billion, compared with N5.265 billion in 2016. Net finance cost fell from N17.268 billion in 2016 to N4.988 billion in 2017. Consequently, Transcorp ended H1 2017 with PAT of N4.164 billion, a recovery from a loss of N12.191 billion in 2016.