January 25, 2016 - 6:26 PM EST
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John Holt Posts N1.63 Billion Profit Amid Forex Challenge

John Holt Nigeria Plc has posted operating profit of N1.63 billion despite the devaluation of the naira in 2015, and foreign currency restrictions imposed on some items the Central Bank of


For the year ended September 30, 2015, the operating profit however, reduced by 18.50 per cent from N2 billion in the previous year.

But analysts have said that the company's low gearing ratios and strong assets base makes its share price attractive to investors who crave for blue-chip firms.

Sales were down by 13.87 per cent to N2.42 billion in 2015, as the company embarks on aggressive expansion with a view to consolidating its share of the market.

The company with interest in businesses ranging from engineering, leasing, trade and distribution said that the devaluation of the naira was a drain on its bottom lines, since most of its raw materials and equipments were imported.

"Although, the company and its subsidiaries made a loss before tax of N171m compared to profit before tax of N427m last year, N528m was exchange for loss suffered as a result of the devaluation of Naira," the company said in a statement.

It attributed the fall in revenue to the crash in crude oil price, which negatively affected revenue from oil and gas clients.

"Sales were also negatively affected by the tension and uncertainty associated with the 2015 general elections and the subsequent lull in the economy after the elections," said the company.

The company's debt to adjusted capital ratio fell to 43 per cent in 2015, against 51 per cent in 2014, while finance cost dipped by 7.60 per cent to N231 million.

The decrease in the debt to adjusted capital ratio for the Group during the year resulted primarily from decrease in debt by N400 million from N1.8 billion in 2014 to N1.4 billion in 2015.

"This was as a result of settlement of FBN loan and liquidation of import finance liabilities," said the company.

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Source: Equities.com News (January 25, 2016 - 6:26 PM EST)

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