Business

Unilever posts N468m profit in nine months

Unilever Nigeria Plc has reported a profit after tax of N468.49 million for the full year ended December 31, 2020 as against loss of N4.76 billion in 2019. Profit before tax stood at N800.13 million for the 2020 as against N8.97 billion in 2019. Revenue grew by 84.34 per cent from N9.13 billion to N16.84 billion in 2020. Unilever reported a loss after tax of N1.54 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 as against loss of N3 billion in 2019. Loss before tax stood at N2.032 billion loss for the 2020 as against N4.08 billion in 2019. Cost of sales stood at N13.66bn from N10.68 billion in 2019. However, revenue grew by 93.92 per cent from N8.97 billion to N13.66 billion in 2020.

For 2020FY, analysts at Cordros Capital notedthat the company recorded a smaller loss per share of -N0.28 (-62.3 per cent y/y) compared to the previous year. “The achieved revenue was in line with our estimate (-0.6% variance) but was 9.3 per cent ahead of the consensus estimate for 2020FY. Although we expected a loss for the year, the 2020FY loss per share was 40.6 per cent ahead of ourestimateowing largely to positive surprises in gross margin and the finance income line. Conversely, the loss per share was 17.3 per cent behind the consensus estimate.

“Our channel checks show that the average price across 89 per cent of UNILEVER’s product portfolio was up 5.9 per cent y/y and 1.8 per cent q/q. This, in our view, indicates that UNILEVER’s Q4 topline growth (+84.4% y/y) was underpinned by a combination of (1) the low base from last year, (2) higher average prices, and (3) most significantly, a stronger volume outturn. However, the 3.2 per cent q/q revenue decline suggests a much weaker volume performance in the traditionally strong quarter.

This is indicative of the persisting pressure on the consumer wallet amidst the current domestic macroeconomic challenges. “Gross profit margin expanded to 23.1 per cent (Q4-19: -32.5%) in Q4-20, owing to the supernormal growth in the top line. On a q/q basis, gross margin expanded by 1.69 ppts as CoGs (-5.3% q/q) declined faster than revenue, which could be indicative of higher fixed cost absorption from improved volumes.

 

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