28 Jul

Daily Watch – Google to launch ₦30k phone in September, Seplat’s bleeding continues

  • Seplat reported a loss of ₦3.1 billion in Q2 2017 results published by the NSE on Thursday. The result did show sales were up by 21 percent year-on-year, reaching ₦25.7 billion. Seplat’s losses are receding following the resumption of the TransForcados System in June. Seplat delivered an H1 oil production of 9,507 bpd, down 18 percent year-on-year but up 86 percent quarter-on-quarter, which works out to a Q2 average production of around 14,000 bpd. Gas production was up 19 percent year-on-year to 101 MMscfd, mainly due to the resumption of the TFS as previously constrained volumes became available for processing. Sales grew 79 percent quarter-on-quarter while the firm’s Q2 loss before tax of US$10 million compares with a US$18 million loss delivered in Q1 2017. Year to date, Seplat shares have gained 27.7 percent compared with the All Share Index’s 36.7 percent.
  • MTN expects to swing back into profit in the first half of its financial year after a ₦330 billion ($1.1 billion) fine paid in the previous reporting period weighed on margins, the company said on Thursday. Africa’s biggest wireless network group expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) to be between 210 cents and 230 cents for the six months ended 30 June 2017 compared to a headline loss per share of 271 cents in the prior comparable period. “The negative performance in the prior comparable period was mainly as a result of non-recurring costs, including the Nigeria regulatory fine of 474 cents per share,” the company said. The fine claimed by Nigeria, MTN’s most lucrative but increasingly problematic market, wiped 10.5 billion rand (₦254.5 billion) from the company’s value.
  • The head of 9mobile has asked the telecoms regulator for concessions on spectrum and foreign exchange access to shore up its revenues ahead of finding new investors. 9mobile’s CEO Boye Olusanya on Wednesday asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to revisit its floor price on data, interconnect rates and national roaming fees in order to help the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator meet its obligations, the NCC said, citing a meeting with 9mobile. “We want to see a viable and thriving 9mobile,” NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman Umar Garba Danbatta said, adding that he wanted to safeguard investors, subscribers and employees. Nairametrics, quoting the annual report of the former parent company, Etisalat UAE, reports that its former Nigerian subsidiary reported an annual revenue of ₦228.6 billion. 9mobile did not make any official comment.
  • Google says it will launch an affordable device for the Nigerian market, the Ice 2. At the company’s Google for Nigeria event on Thursday in Lagos, CEO Sunday Pitchai said, “Google is set to launch an Android device in September. One cool thing about this device is the price. The Ice 2 would be sold at ₦30,000 when it is launched.” According to him, the device will come with Google Play Protect, which continuously works to keep devices, data and apps safe.
  • The Nigeria Police Force Microfinance Bank declared a profit before tax of ₦803.4 million for the 2016 operational year, an increase of about 16.63 percent above the ₦68.8 million recorded in 2015. The bank’s managing director, Akinwunmi Lawal, who announced the numbers during the bank’s 23rd AGM in Enugu, said economic headwinds took its toll on the bank’s operations, especially on savings. He said there were price hikes, increased costs due to ageing facilities and a growing branch network and high rates of macroeconomic indices among others, which affected operating costs. Despite the challenging operating environment, it recorded marginal growth as gross earnings rose by 13.86 percent from ₦2.5 billion in 2015 to ₦2.9 billion in 2016, while total assets stood at ₦12.4 billion. He added that the bank was “aggressively marketing the new recruits at the various police colleges and we are poised to deploy technology to serve them even if there is no physical brick and mortar branch in their locations.”