From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, one of the Nigeria’s independent oil and gas exploration and production company, has recorded a profit after tax to the tune of $44 million for the 2017 financial.
This according to the firm marks its full return to profitability in the third and fourth quarters where net quarterly profit before tax of $24 million and $46 million respectively offset the $26 million loss before tax recorded in the mid year.
Commenting on the company’s performance, at the Seplat Annual General Meeting in Lagos, the CEO, Seplat, Austin Awuru stated, “ I am pleased to report that Seplat made a return to full year profitability in 2017, registered strong cash flow performance and significantly strengthened the balance sheet. In a year of contrast, we were plagued through most of the first half by force majeure at the forcados terminals. Our proactive and decisive management coupled with the strong underlying fundamentals of the business have seen us emerge from an exceptionally challenging period a much fitter and strong business that is well equipped to deliver long term value for our shareholders”, he assured.
According to him, as usual gas was a key revenue driver underlining Seplats gas domestication strategy and demonstrating the robustness of gas as a key source of growth and diversification as well as delivering a much needed reliable supply of gas to the Nigerian power sector.
Seplat’s gas business made a record contribution with revenue of $124 million which accounted for over 27 per cent of the firm’s total revenue.
Earlier in his presentation at the meeting, the Chairman of Seplat, ABC Orjiako emphasized the contribution of gas to the firm’s growth and profitability, “I am pleased to report that in 2017 we made good progress as we reviewed our vision, mission and strategy towards refocusing the company on our key priorities, to de-risk future cash flow through diversification of oil export routes, invest in and scale up our domestic gas business maintain a liquidity buffer while continuing to reduce debt keep tight financial control with discretion in spending and position Seplat with a stabilized platform for sustainable growth even in a harsh operating environment. Our strategy to diversify and grow our income through the expansion of our gas business continues to gain momentum”, he said.