This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Nestle's Performance Put NSE Return At 20.5 Percent

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) benchmark Index achieved a year-to-date (YTD) return of 20.05 per cent Wednesday, helped by massive scramble for the shares of Nestle Nigeria Plc, which reported strong 2012 financial results.

However, activities on the exchange decreased ominously yesterday by 18 per cent despite growth in market indices as investors bought a total of 434.15 million ordinary shares worth N4.352 billion made in 7,293 deals as against 528.22 million ordinary shares worth N3.661 billion executed in 6,846 deals the previous day.

The NSE-All Share Index or ASI appreciated by 1.12 per cent or 356.72 bps to close at 33,708.18 from 33,335.11 on Tuesday. Similarly, the market capitalisation of listed equities increased by N12 billion or 1.12 per cent to N10.786 trillion from N10.666 trillion the previous day.

Analysis on Nestle's performance yesterday showed that its shares soared 9.89 per cent to a new record high. This, analysts said, was attributable to investors pouring in cash on expectations of a healthy full-year dividend payout announcement this week. Nestle shares closed at N990 per share gaining N89.9 with 48,934 units traded.

Following the announcement of its interim dividend, which was paid over two months ago, Nestle shares have appreciated by approximately 30 per cent despite low volumes making it one of the most expensive stocks on the stock exchange.

The company recorded a turnover of N116.707 billion for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared with N97.961 billion earned in the corresponding period in 2011. Its cost of sales for 2012 was N66.539 billion as against N57.368 billion in 2011. Gross Profit for 2012 was N50.169 billion as against N40.593 billion in the corresponding year.

Distribution, sales and marketing expenses for the year under review were N18.867 billion compared with N14.526 billion in 2011. Administrative expenses for 2012 stood at N5.313 billion compared with N4.553 billion in 2011 while operating profit was N25.990 billion as against N21.514 billion in 2011.

Profit before tax was N25.050 billion compared with N18.199 billion in 2011. Total taxation paid for 2012 stood at N3.913 billion as against N1.703 billion in the corresponding year. The company recorded a profit after tax of N21.137 billion as against N16.496 billion in 2011.

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