Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, has announced a change in the drivers’ seat as cash revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2020 stood at $234 million despite the lower oil prices and demand occasioned by Covid19.

The company recorded a reserve increase to $343 million despite lower revenues, for the period in review. The leading Nigerian independent energy company is listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

According to the results released yesterday that the NSE and LSE, company’s full-year capex of $120 million ($86m already invested) would also include two gas wells and related infrastructure.

Seplat’s outgoing chief executive officer, Mr Austin Avuru, said the company has put up a good performance despite the unprecedented Covid19 pandemic which devastated business at all levels since March 2020.

“Our continued resilience is possible as a result of our financial strength, our careful management of risk and our prudent approach to capital allocation. Unlike many in our industry, we were able to protect our 2019 dividend and increase our capital investment to ensure continued growth,” he said.

Seplat’s oil hedging strategy and gas revenues, according to Avuru, have continued to protect the business from price volatility, with the Company achieving substantial cost reductions from its suppliers while managing own costs even more carefully in this challenging period.

“Thanks to the excellent relationships we have with our government partners and supply chain, our Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) receivables have fallen and we are managing our payments equitably. The cash position is also robust because our careful management of debt has ensured that the majority of obligations mature in 2022 and 2023. We are operating within our covenants on all our lines of debt,” the erstwhile Seplat CEO said.

On Seplat’s efforts to reduce the impact of Coronavirus, Avuru said the company has provided medical and food assistance where needed in the host communities, and will continue to do whatever we can to support those upon whom we depend for our business.

The report card was Avuru’s last as he handed over to Roger Brown, the incoming CEO. Highlights of the financials include: Cash increased to $343 million despite lower revenues, $29 million 2019 dividend, and $86 million capex. Net debt is steady at $457 million with most maturities after 2021. 

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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