Foremost ratings and research agencies, Agusto & Co and Global Credit Rating Co, have affirmed Forte Oil Plc’s investment grade rating.
In addition, both agencies stated that the long-term outlook for the oil and gas company remained stable.
A statement on Sunday said that the credit ratings were accorded Forte Oil Plc based on the its top-tier position in the Nigerian downstream sector, underpinned by a strong and visible brand, significant assets across the energy value chain, and stable management team.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Forte Oil, Mr. Akin Akinfemiwa said, “This is an affirmation of trust in the company. It further reinstates that the company is on a solid financial footing and is navigating the difficult business environment within the country today through prudent management and presence in strategic parts of the energy value chain.
“This rating provides additional comfort to all stakeholders that their investment in Forte Oil is safe and secure in line with our vision of being the investment of choice in the energy sector.”
The statement recalled that Forte Oil had reported improved results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.
It also reported profit after tax of N1.9bn in the Q1 of 2017, showing a jump of 98 per cent from N1bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2016.
In all, Forte Oil had recorded a revenue of N33 billion, down 7.3 per cent from N35.67bn; its cost of sales was reduced by 11.7 per cent from N30.8bn to N27.2bn, while distribution expenses were reduced by 45 per cent from N911m to N501m, leading to a growth of 20.8 per cent in gross profit to N5.8bn, from N4.8bn in 2015, it added.
It also stated that Forte Oil Plc last year raised N9bn bond under its N50bn bond issuance programme in bid to reduce its finance cost and refinance existing short-term commercial bank loan obligations. The funds were also meant to refinance its retail outlet expansion.