Seplat rakes in record N885 billion income amid foreign currency gains

Seplat Energies raked in N885.1 billion in total comprehensive income – the combined earnings that companies receive from unexpected gains in addition to profit – after the energy giant turned Nigeria’s foreign exchange crisis into its advantage.

According to the corporation’s audited books released on Thursday, total comprehensive income surged more than eight times from N106.5 billion the preceding year.

For an energy giant that generates its revenue mostly from the dollar, the pretty strong performance owed its debt to jumbo earnings from crude oil sales on converting the proceeds from the dollar into naira.

The local currency fell by about 50 per cent against the hard currency during the year, providing the biggest windfall ever of this kind to Seplat in its fifteen years of operation.

“Our revenue exceeded $1bn, and while costs increased, our proactive approach meant we generated more than $260m of free cash flow in the year, allowing us to continue rewarding our shareholders and further reduce net debt,” said CEO Roger Brown.

The company realised 83 per cent more in net profit compared to the previous year with support from increased oil revenue, putting its after-tax profit of N81.3 billion at a four-year record.

In dollar terms, the result is similarly a cheering development for the corporation, which is also listed in London in addition to Lagos, as the bottom line advanced by 18.3 per cent.

Nigeria’s biggest oil & gas company by market value, currently worth about N2 trillion, is now inches away from regaining the pre-pandemic profit level of N85 billion, attained in 2019 after the far-reaching impact of various global lockdowns upset supply chains and limited income.

READ ALSO: Seplat Energy to pay shareholders $14 million dividend

Its earnings release on Thursday put turnover at almost N700 billion, 72.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

That said, reactions from both markets were mixed in morning trade with the share price already fallen by 10 per cent on Lagos’ Customs Street, its biggest in at least ten days.

The tale was different in the British capital as a rush for Seplat’s shares by investors in London had driven the stock 5 per cent up as of 10:35 GMT.

For the year under review, the company announced twin rewards comprising a final dividend of 3 cents and a special dividend of the same value for shareholders, both totalling 6 cents per share for shareholders.

But the exchange rate of the dividend in naira won’t be determined until about two months according to the conversion rate of the appointed date, Seplat said.

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“Shareholders holding their shares on the Nigerian Exchange Limited without a valid Nigerian Certificate for Capital Importation (“CCI”) will be paid their dividend in Naira as the default currency,” the company disclosed in a statement seen by PREMIUM TIMES, a decision that probably had irked local investors who prefer the cash payments to come in the dollar.

Seplat is the only one that pays a dividend every quarter of all the listed companies in Nigeria, with five dividend payments on the card for shareholders, when the special dividend is included.

Profit before taxation jumped by more than two-fifths to N125.5 billion during the year.

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