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Forte Oil : Rise and rise of an oil giant

Published by Tribune on Mon, 18 Aug 2014

RUTH OLUROUNBI, in this report, looks at how witty investments shoot up the fortune of Forte Oil.Oil and gas operators' jubilation over Forte Oil's inclusion in Morgan Stanley Capital International Index (MSCI), describing it as a 'testament to the fundamentals and strong growth potential' of the energy company seems to be paying off. The operators believed that the inclusion would be a driver of imminent inflow of foreign direct investments that would compete strongly with local investment.The August 5, 2014 audited results for the six months period ended 30 June, 2014, from the Nigeria's foremost energy group, Forte Oil PLC, formerly known as AP PLC, may have served to reinforce shareholders' belief in the company, as profit before income tax increased 152 per cent to N4.19 billion compared to N1.66 billion recorded in H1 2013, while the company's revenue also grew 33 per cent to N79.61 billion compared to N59.96 billion recorded in the same period in 2013.Earlier in March, the company delivered 108 per cent increase in profit-after-tax, posting N1.1bn in 2014 Q1 results. The unaudited results for the three months period ended 31 March, 2014 showed that the company's revenue grew by 31 per cent to N34.8 billion compared to N26.6 billion for the same period in 2013, just as its gross margin increased by 72 per cent to N4.6 billion compared to N2.7 billion in the same period in 2013.The company also stated that its profit before income tax increased 101 per cent to N1.26bn compared to N633million recorded in 2013 and profit after income tax increased 108 per cent to N1.1bn compared to N530 million for the same period in 2013.Forte Oil's August result also showed an 'aggressive growth and expansion of its industrial/commercial customer base' to meet its objective of being the supplier of choice.' The company also boasted of 'strong performance from Geregu Power Plant despite operational challenges, achievement of a 111.05 per cent YTD share price appreciation in H1 from N92.87 to N206.30.'On November 1, 2013, Forte Oil formally took-over Geregu Power Plant following a successful acquisition of the 414MW power generation plant located in Kogi State, under the Federal Government-led privatisation programme to divest public power assets.The company, in the result, also boasted that its traditional product lines continued to boost revenue with increased sales recorded in fuels, such as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS; petrol), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO; diesel) and aviation fuel, saying power generation and provision of upstream services also contributed significantly to the group's revenue and profit as its diversification strategy continues to yield positive income streams.According to the company's Group Chief Financial Officer, Julius Omodayo-Owotuga, achieving 152 per cent growth in profitability in the company's third year of transformation 'is a clear indication that the milestones set in our restructure programme are being met earlier than envisaged.'These milestones, according to him, could be seen in the 33 per cent revenue increase from a growing number of retail outlets and improved commercial customer base, while the company kept costs distribution, administrative, and finance low. 'The result is an indication that we are operating efficiently and are focused on our vision of being the foremost energy solutions provider,' he boasted.Forte Oil, which currently operates over 500 retail outlets in the downstream sector of Nigeria's oil and gas industry, says it offers a wide range of petroleum products; Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), diesel, aviation fuel, kerosene, as well as a range of quality lubricants for various automobiles and machines. Its petroleum and lubricant products are distributed mostly to the automobile, industrial, aviation and marine markets, whilst the company is in alliance with leading brands to provide unparalleled shopping experience at its retail outlets to its various customers, it said.The company, according to information on its website, aims to become the foremost integrated energy solutions provider in Nigeria, built on the 'pillars of solid corporate governance, sound business ethics and compliance, enhanced safety, health and environment practices; driven by technology, world-class business process and highly skilled and motivated workforce.'With a vision of being the 'preferred energy company, delivering unbeatable benefits to our stakeholders,' the indigenous petroleum marketing company, with structured operations and strategic policies to continuously improve product delivery to its customers, prides itself on 'delivering prompt, quality and effective services to our customers nationwide.'According to it, 'our focus is to continuously improve our services and expand our business network in Nigeria and to other countries in Africa,' with a mission to 'provide quality products and services using high safety standards and global best practices while remaining profitable and socially responsible.'The company's guiding values, according to its website, are drawn from commitment, openness, responsiveness and respect, while it 'consistently provides the best products and services in the downstream and midstream sectors of the petroleum industry based on its in-built stepwise improvement of processes which gives value to all stakeholders.
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