By Nkiruka Nnorom
POSITIVE momentum recorded in Nigerian Breweries Plc, NB, and Guinness Nigeria Plc last week reversed the prevailing downturn in the consumer goods sector as investors position for dividend payment proposed mid week by NB.
Though NB recorded 6.7 per cent increase in gross earning to N313.74 billion for its year ended December 31, 2016, profit before and after tax fell by 27.3 per cent and 25.4 per cent to N39.6 billion and N28 billion respectively.
However, it announced N28.2 billion dividend payment, which translated to N3.58 per share for shareholders. This was in addition to N7.9 billion, or N1.00 per ordinary share of 50kobo dividend declared earlier in the year.
Consequently, investors swooped on its shares, resulting in 13.04 per cent or N15.00 price appreciation from N115.00 recorded at the beginning of the week to N130.00 on Friday, resulting in 4.08 per cent increase in the consumer goods sector, the highest sectorial return for the week.
Guinness Nigeria Plc, another consumer goods company appreciated 11.57 per cent or N7.05 to close at N68.00 per share, followed by NPF Micro-finance Bank Plc with 9.26 per cent increase to close at N1.18. Beta Glass Plc closed as the fourth most active, rising by 4.99 per cent to close at N38.27; Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc, which for most part of the year, has been driving activity in the insurance sector, rose by 4.94 per cent to close at N3.40, while Berger Paints Nig. Plc trailed behind with 4.93 per cent increase to close at N6.38 per share.
Other are Axamansard Insurance Plc that rose by 4.67 per cent to close at N1.57; P.Z Cusson Plc, 4.48 per cent to close at N13.99; Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, 3.64 per cent to close at N17.36 and Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc that appreciated by 3.33 per cent to close at N0.93 per share.
Following on the positive performance of the companies, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, primary indicators – the All Share Index, ASI, and the market capitalisation- appreciated by 0.34 per cent to close the week at 25,250.37 points and N8.739 trillion respectively.
Similarly, all other indices, including the insurance index that recorded 0.33 per cent return on the back of activity in Custodian and Allied Insurance finished the week higher with the exception of the NSE Premium, NSE ASeM, NSE banking, NSE Oil/Gas, NSE Lotus II, NSE industrial goods and NSE pension indices that depreciated by 0.45 per cent, 0.79 per cent, 0.79 per cent, 2.50 per cent, 2.82 per cent, 2.83 per cent and 1.18 per cent in that order.
At the end of the week, a total turnover of 765.656 million shares worth N9.717 billion in 12,468 deals were traded by investors in contrast to 1.073 billion shares valued at N8.608 billion in 14,486 deals.
Consumer goods industry
The financial services sector, measured by volume, led the activity chart with 575.290 million shares valued at N3.470 billion in 6,738 deals, followed by the consumer goods industry with 53.812 million shares worth N3.470 billion in 2,572 deals. The third place was occupied by conglomerates industry with a turnover of 48.961 million shares worth N229.411 million in 622 deals.
Trading in the top three equities namely – Zenith International Bank Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, and United Capital Plc, measured by volume, accounted for 280.563 million shares worth N1.867 billion in 2,438 deals, contributing 36.64 per cent and 19.22 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.