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Ivorian Tobacco Giant Defies Headwinds to Post Record Earnings

Monday, 01 May 2023 18:29
Ivorian Tobacco Giant Defies Headwinds to Post Record Earnings

(Ecofin Agency) - SITAB, Côte d'Ivoire's leading tobacco firm, delivered a standout performance in 2022, posting record revenue of 151.1 billion CFA francs and net profit of 11.2 billion CFA francs, despite grappling with increased taxes and fierce competition in the sector.

Investors appear to be taking notice, with SITAB's price-to-earnings ratio improving to 9.15x from 21.5x in 2019, signaling that the company's shares are more attractive now than in previous years. The firm's robust operations and efficient inventory management contributed to a reduction of 2.6 billion CFA francs in stock value last year, while financial debt remained low at 8 million CFA francs.

SITAB's 2022 revenue growth of 15.5% surpassed the 10.4% increase in total expenses, reflecting the company's ability to control costs. Despite these strong results, the stock only rose 1.58% on the Abidjan Regional Stock Exchange on April 28, 2023, likely because the majority of shareholders are long-term investors, with the public owning just 26.8% of the company.

Shareholders who invested in SITAB before the end of 2020 enjoyed an 11.6x increase in stock value in 2021, followed by a 10.8% gain in 2022. Although the company's value dipped 3.8% this year, some analysts believe that an announcement of dividends could spur a rebound.

Investors, however, remain cautious about SITAB's future prospects. The company's net profit growth of 17.8% in 2022 outpaced the 11.2% increase in 2021 but trailed behind the exceptional 95% surge in the first half of 2022. The unchanged net margin ratio of 7% over the past three years, coupled with the threat of future tax hikes, has raised questions about SITAB's ability to sustain profit growth going forward.



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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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