2022: 10 Most Profitable Companies in Nigeria

By our Reporter

Following rising inflationary trends in Nigeria, many businesses still braved the economic headwinds in 2022, with MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Dangote Cement Plc and eight others emerging as the most profitable companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) as of September.

Although 2022 was a tough year for companies in Africa’s biggest economy: judging by a spike in diesel prices combined with foreign exchange scarcity and high input costs which forced some firms to close shop, many others struggled to stay afloat.

Intriguingly, findings showed some firms defied the odds by tightening their belts, applying cost optimisation strategies, and innovative solutions to navigate Nigeria’s weak macroeconomic environment.

Therefore, after surveying the 30 biggest listed companies on the NGX, media analysis, categorically, showed MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Holding Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), FBN Holdings Plc, BUA Cement Plc, and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc were the most profitable companies in the nine months to September.

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Overall, the companies posted a combined profit of N1.38 trillion in the nine-month period, up 8.81 percent from N1.27 trillion in the corresponding period of 2021.

And of course, analysts have attributed the growth in earnings to marketing and distribution strategies, diversified product base and the acceptance of the companies’ products among consumers across the country.
The most outstanding companies with exceptional performance in 2022 include:

MTN Nigeria

MTN Nigeria reported a 22.12 percent increase in profit to N269.04 billion in the nine-month period from N220.31 billion in the same period of 2021, leading the pack as the most profitable company in Nigeria.

The largest telecom network has a market value of N4.36 trillion and declared earnings per share of N13.30 per share in the nine-month period, up from N10.82 per share in the same period of 2021.

MTN began the year with a share price of N197 and gained 9.14 percent to close at N215 per share on December 30, 2022.

Dangote Cement Plc

Dangote Cement is Africa’s largest cement company with a market valuation of N4.4 trillion and profit after tax of N213.31 billion in nine months, making it the second most profitable company in the country.

This profit, however, represents a 23.41 percent decline from N278.25 billion in the same period of 2021.

The company declared earnings per share of N12.41 in the period compared to N16.23 in the corresponding period of 2021.

Dangote Cement began the year with a share price of N257 per share and gained 1.56 percent to close at N261 per share.

Zenith Bank Ltd

Zenith Bank is the third most profitable company with a market capitalisation of N770.78 billion and profit of N174.33 billion in nine months. Its profit grew by 8.56 percent from N160.59 billion in the same period of 2021.

Earnings per share for the period was N5.55 from N5.11 in the same period of 2021.

The lender began the year with a share price of N25.40 but lost 5.51 percent to close at N24 per share.

Access Holdings

Access Holdings reported a profit of N137.01 billion in the nine-month period, 12.40 percent higher than N121.89 billion in the same period of 2021.

The tier-one bank has a market capitalisation of N307.67 billion and declared earnings per share of N388 in the period under review, up from N346 in the corresponding period of 2021.

Its share price fell by 10.5 percent to close at N8.5 per share on December 30, 2022.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company

GTCO reported a profit after tax of N130.35 billion in nine months, up 0.73 percent from N129.40 billion in the corresponding period of 2021.

The holding company of Guaranty Trust Bank reported earnings per share of N4.55 in the nine-month period, up from N4.54 in the same period of 2021.

With a current market capitalisation of N676.92 billion, the bank’s share price dropped by 10.09 percent from N25.58 per share at the beginning of the year to N23 per share on Friday.

Ecobank Transnational

The profit reported by Ecobank increased by 12.34 percent to N117.41 billion in the nine-month period from N104.51 billion in the same period of 2021.

The bank has a market capitalisation of N201.85 billion and has declared earnings per share of N335.58 per share for the nine-month period of 2022 from N301.06 per share in the same period of 2021.

With a current share price of N10.6 per share, Ecobank gained 22.54 percent from N8.65 per share at the start of the year.

United Bank for Africa

The profit reported by UBA grew by 10.95 percent to N116.04 billion in the nine-month period from N104.59 billion in the same period of 2021.
The tier-one bank declared earnings per share of N3.27 in the period under review, up from N2.94 in the same period of 2021.

With a current market value of N259.92 billion, the bank’s share price dipped by 5 percent from N8 per share at the start of the year to N7.6 per share on Friday.

FBN Holdings

FBN Holdings’ profit grew by 123.80 percent in nine months to N91.29 billion from N40.79 billion in the corresponding period of 2021.
The holding company of First Bank of Nigeria declared earnings per share of N2.51 in the nine-month period, up from N1.12 in the same period of 2021.

With a current market capitalisation of N391.26 billion, the company’s share price declined by 8.02 percent to N10.9 per share on December 30 from N11.85 per share at the start of the year.

BUA Cement

BUA Cement, with a market capitalisation of N3.31 trillion, grew its profit by 12.29 percent to N74.01 billion in the nine-month period from N65.91 billion in the corresponding period of 2021.

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The cement producer declared earnings per share of N219 in the period under review, up from N195 per share in the same period of 2021.

Its share price appreciated by 41.67 percent to N97.75 per share from N69 per share at the beginning of the year.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings

Stanbic IBTC Holdings reported a 38.15 percent growth in profit to N55.19 billion in nine months from N39.95 billion in the corresponding period of 2021.

It has a market capitalisation of N433.41 billion and declared earnings per share of N410 in the nine-month period of 2022 from N293 per share in the corresponding period of 2021.

Its share price declined by 9.59 percent to close at N33.45 per share on Friday from N37 per share at the beginning of the year.

A number of experts have passed relative comments regarding the performance of the companies highlighted above.

For Tunde Adelakun, a research analyst at a consulting firm, the firms responded to 2022 macroeconomic challenges by cutting down on capital expenditure to sustain profits.

“Corporate debt issuances declined significantly in the first half (H1) of 2021, due to higher borrowing rates and low liquidity,” said analysts at CSL Stockbrokers.

Again, “The dynamics are unlikely to change in H2, as yields will likely remain elevated,” they added.

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