The stock market rose further Thursday as buying interest in bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (NSE) by 0.77 per cent to close at 23,892.92. Similarly, market capitalisation added N84.9 billion to close at 12.4 trillion.
Having recorded significant gain last week, the market opened for the week on a negative note. However, after two days of profit taking, the bulls returned on Wednesday, a trend that continued yesterday.
In all, 18 stocks appreciated as against 14 that depreciated. Fidson Healthcare Plc led the price gainers with 9.6 per cent, trailed by NPF Microfinance Bank Plc with 9.4 per cent, while May & Baker Nigeria Plc chalked up 5.7 per cent. FCMB Group Plc gained 5.2 per cent, just as Regency Insurance Plc and Caverton Offshore Services Group garnered 5.0 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively. Nestle Nigeria Plc went up by 4.0 per cent, while Jaiz Bank Plc and WAPIC Insurance Plc gained 3.4 per cent and 3.3 per cent in that order.
On the negative side, Custodian Investment Plc led the price losers with 9.5 per cent, trailed by Unity Bank Plc with 8.3 per cent. AIICO Insurance Plc and NEM Insurance Plc shed 7.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively. Linkage Assurance Plc and International Breweries Plc went down by 6.8 per cent and 4.0 per cent in that order.
International Breweries Plc has been suffering from dwindling fortunes, recording losses for the 2019 full year and first quarter of 2020. The brewing firm recorded a loss of N27.791 billion for the year ended December 31, 2019, higher than the N3.933 billion recorded in 2018. As a result, the shareholders will not receive any dividend for the year. Details of the results showed revenue increased by 9.7 per cent to N132.351 billion in 2019, compared with N120.611 billion.
Cost of sale rose by 27 per cent to N107.144 billion from N84.493 billion, while administrative expenses jumped by 64 per cent from N15.942 billion to N26.17 billion. Also, marketing and promotions expenses rose by 63 per cent from N9.743 billion to N15.967 billion. The company incurred impairment charges on financial assets of N1.667 billion in 2019, up from N807 million in 2018. In Q1 of 2020, International Breweries Plc posted a loss of N7.694 billion, compared with a loss of N5.317 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.