Eterna Plc to invest in LPG infrastructure for market penetration
Eterna Plc has reiterated its commitment to investing in Liquefied Petroleum Gas space and incrementally setting up necessary infrastructure for market penetration.
The company also plans to grow its retail footprints in the country as part of its effort to provide energy solutions in efficient and innovative ways, while continuing the trajectory of its five-year strategic plans.
The company stated this at its yearly general meeting in Lagos, while assuring its shareholders of improving performance and returns on their investment in the years ahead as the company seeks to consolidate the gains from recent initiatives by the new board and management.
The meeting was the first after the emergence of the new majority core investor; Preline Limited. Preline Limited acquired 60.98 per cent stake in the company, making it the largest and majority shareholder.
With the emergence of the new majority core investor, the board and management of Eterna Plc has assured shareholders that despite the global challenges faced by the industry, there is hope for growth and a better future outlook for the company.
Addressing shareholders at the AGM, Eterna Plc Chairman, Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, noted that the company’s goal to be Africa’s preferred energy company while providing energy solutions that are efficient is still in full course.
“We will continue to focus on delivering value to our shareholders as we continue to drive the growth and profitability of our business,” Dr Ogbechie stated.
According to him the company will actively continue to play across the energy value chain covering production, transportation and distribution of energy solutions vital for economic growth and development.
“We will be the first choice for our customers as we seek to dominate the African energy industry by strategically expanding our operations and growing market share.
“With the addition of the new investor, the prospects have continued to look up for our Company, considering the track record, resolute commitment to stakeholder value addition and the industry experience the new investor brings. The investment demonstrates the belief in the potential of our company,” he emphasized.
He affirmed that the company will begin to incrementally improve its involvement in the aviation space with the retail of Aviation Turbine Kerosene.
He said that the company has also introduced various initiatives targeted at enhancing market presence, growing volumes and local brand equity for its lubricants. Eterna PLC is the sole distributor of Castrol products in Nigeria and subsequently other West African countries.
“In relation to new businesses, we have commenced discussions with some potential strategic partners with a view to exploring opportunities in identified growth areas within the energy space. We are grateful to all the stakeholders that have stayed committed to our Company and helped us achieve our goals thus far”, he added.
A look at the firm’s performance showed that Eterna Plc achieved a consolidated operating revenue of N82 billion compared with N58.7 billion in 2020. This was largely attributable to the improved economic activities as against the previous period. It recorded a decline in its gross profit from N5.5 billion in 2020 to N4.2 billion in 2021.
The Company also recorded a decline in its operating profit from N1.5 billion in 2020 to N236 million in 2021. It recorded a loss before taxation of N936 million in 2021, a decline from the N548 million profit recorded in the previous year.
Speaking at the event, a shareholder, Adeleke Oladimeji called on the new board to continue to work hard in ensuring that they take the company to greater heights.
He commended the quality of experience and skills set of the new directors whom he charged to develop better strategies in expanding the business for profitability, especially the lubricants.
On his own part, the chairman of Progressive shareholders, Okezie Boniface, called on the management to consolidate on the gains of the past and ensure the company remains a top brand in the market.