Food is man’s most important need, a fact that has long been established as many nations of the world have taken numerous measures towards ensuring food security. Unfortunately, Africa continues to lag behind in this quest to ensure constant availability of food. There is, however, a company in Nigeria that is playing a major role towards remedying this situation. That company is Notore Chemical Industries Plc.
Avid readers of Nairametrics already know that we have a tradition of writing special profiles of Nigerian companies once every week. But for the sake of newcomers, this column focuses specifically on little-known corporations that are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. The essence is to provide investors with precise, yet holistic information about companies that they might want to invest in.
Today, focus is on Notore Chemical Industries Plc, which just got listed on the Nigerian bourse. Get to know all there is to know about this company, starting from its history in the Nigerian market, its business model, challenges, and particularly how it facilitates Nigeria’s quest for food security.
About Notore Chemical Industries Plc: A corporate overview
Notore Chemical is a Nigerian company which is mainly involved in the manufacturing and merchandising of fertilisers – first to the Nigerian market then elsewhere. It also engages in the marketing of seedlings to farmers, and the production and distribution of electric power by the side, amongst other business activities.
As a corporate entity, the company has had a long history in Nigeria during which time, it has undergone both ownership and identity changes. As a matter of fact, Notore Chemical’s history can be traced back to 1981 when it was initially incorporated as the National Fertiliser Company of Nigeria, NAFCON. Note that this was a joint venture partnership between Nigeria’s Federal Government (which controlled 70% shareholding), and Kellog Brown and Root, which controlled 30% shareholdings.
For 18 years, NAFCON operated successfully until 1999 when it was shut down due to technical failure. It then remained shut for six years until 2005 when the Government decided to privatise it. This was when Notore Chemical Industries Plc was birthed. The new company came into the picture with an obvious intent to turn things around. In 2007, the new owners raised the sum of $222 million from banks, money that was intended to drive growth. Since then, the company’s Board has signed various types of deals and MoUs with both foreign companies and governments – all of which are efforts geared at transforming it for continued growth.
Currently, the company has a production capacity of 15,000 metric tonnes per day of Urea, 1,000 metric tonnes per day of Ammonia, and 2,000 metric tonnes per day of NPK fertilizer.
Listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
As we exclusively reported, Notore Chemical Industries Plc recently became the first company to list on the NSE this year. Back in August, it listed a sum of N1.61 billion ordinary shares of N0.50 each at N62.50 per share, which roughly translates to a market capitalisation of about N100.75 billion.
The company’s business model and focus audience
As noted in the onset of this article, food is inevitable. Unfortunately, several challenges are often encountered in the food production process. One of such challenges is the inability of some lands to support optimum crop yield. This problem is perhaps peculiar to most parts of Nigeria where the soil often lacks the necessary nutrients to support plant growth.
Years of research and technological advancements have availed mankind the possibility of supporting crop yield through the use of fertilisers. This is what Notore Chemicals is taking advantage of to solve an important problem, whilst making profits in the process.
That said, Notore Chemical basically targets farmers in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa and the world. The company is strategically located at Onne in Rivers State Nigeria, where it does not only have easy access to natural gas for fertiliser production, but also access to the Atlantic Sea for exportation.
In Nigeria, Notore Chemical Industries Plc is represented in 700 Local Government Areas, where its fertilisers are used on farmlands. There are 70 major distributors who sell Notore Chemical’s fertilisers to 3000 retailers. 56 commercial farms and off-takers account for 20% of the company’s total annual sales.
The company also targets international markets, having exported goods valued at $713,674.00 in 2017 alone. As we reported, it was among the top ten largest non-oil exporters in Nigeria, ranking in the same category as the likes of Dangote Cement. Examples of markets where its products were exported to include Morocco, Israel and the Americas.
Segmentation of Notore Chemical Industries Plc
The company is segmented into the following subsidiaries:
* Notore Supply and Trading Mauritius Limited
* Notore Power Limited
* Notore Foods Limited
* Notore Seeds Limited and
* Notore Industrial City Limited
A look at competition
Notore Chemical Industries Plc currently controls an estimated 60% market share in Nigeria. This is not surprising, seeing as it prides itself as the leading fertiliser manufacturer in Sub-Saharan Africa. As such, it currently maintains the lead in the quest to “champion the African Green Revolution” as it claims on its website.
Interestingly, the company’s seemingly indomitable leadership position may soon come to an end. This is because Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is building alongside its refinery, what is said to be the biggest fertiliser plant in the whole of Africa. When this is ready, Notore Chemical Industries will have real competition.
The company’s Board of Directors
Early last month, just a few weeks after listing on the NSE, Notore Chemical Industries Plc issued a statement to the Exchange announcing some changes to its Board of Directors. Four new directors were appointed, namely:
- Dr Ohis Ohiwere
- Mr. Bode Agagu
- Ms. Ivana Osagie, and
- Dr Murtala Muhammed
They joined other members of Board, including the Group Managing Director, Mr. Onajite Paul Okoloko, and the Chairman, Dr Yakubu Gowon.
A look at the company’s recent financial performance
Notore Chemical Industries Plc has been on a profitable track in recent times. Its most recent financial report for the quarter ended June 31st, 2018 shows that it earned N20.5 billion against an operating cost of N12.4 billion. During this same period last year, the company had recorded a revenue of 25.8 billion against an operating cost of N18.6 billion.
Meanwhile, profit for the period ended June 31st stood at N3.9 billion. This is better than the sum of N3.7 billion, which is the profit after tax for the same quarter in 2017.
It is important to note that the company’s revenue generally improved within the past five years, with a total revenue of N35.8 billion recorded in full year 2017, against N25.2 billion in full year 2016. Profits also showed positive improvements, rising to N8.6 billion in 2017 whilst marking a sharp departure from the company’s losing streak between 2016 and 2014.
More opportunities for growth abound
Notore Chemical Industries Plc recognises that there is room for growth. This is, considering the fact that both the production volume of 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum and the consumption rate of 8-10 kilograms per hectare are far below what obtains in other countries with similar fertiliser needs as Nigeria.
For this reason, the company is dedicated to not only improving its production capacity, but also ensuring greater fertiliser consumption in Nigeria. It is expected that their listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange would improve their business activities and in turn, ensure the actualisation of greater food security on the African continent and elsewhere in the world.