Sunday, February 25, 2024

Caverton to diversify business, seeks fresh injection of capital from new investors

BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO

Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Nigeria’s foremost indigenous offshore logistics services provider in Nigeria, has unveiled its plan to further boost its business through diversification within the aviation and marine sectors while exploring other more profitable areas for investments and business development.

Aderemi Makanjuola, Chairman of Caverton Group, who made the disclosure during the 14th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday, noted that the operational year ended December 31, 2022, marked the coming to fruition of a key component of the company’s diversification strategy with its training arm becoming operational.

“A total of of 22 personnel of the Nigeria Air Force were trained on various aviation enrichment courses at the Caverton Training Centre being the first of many planned short courses which will continue,” he noted.

Besides the training business, Makanjuola disclosed that the company is increasing its operation in the marine sector with the construction of 40-seater water buses which will improve revenue and profit in the years ahead.

The water bus business is expected to come into operation by the end of the ongoing financial year.

The Chairman proudly informed shareholders at the AGM that the boats are locally made and are wholly-financed internally without securing debt.

Olabode Makanjuola, Chief Executive Officer, Caverton Plc, disclosed that the board of directors are working towards attracting foreign investments into the company.

He noted that its Cameroon partner, COTCO, signed a new contract with Caverton in May 2023.

This is despite the unfortunate helicopter crash in Cameroon which adversely affected the operations of Caverton in the financial year ended 2022.

Furthermore, the Chairman of Caverton told shareholders that there are moves to restructure the debts of the company with the various financial institution from which it gets funding to run its business.

This is as one of the company’s shareholders, Nona Awoh, expressed displeasure about the rising indebtedness of the company to banks.

“We paid N12billion debt this year and about N32billion is still pending. I want to know the other funding models that our company seeks to adopt?,” Awoh had inquired.

Another shareholder, Sunny Nwosu, was not pleased that shareholders did not receive dividends in the last two financial years and asked if the trend will change in the new financial year ongoing.

Responding, the CEO of Caverton assured that the dividend draught being experienced by the shareholders will soon end.

He disclosed that 2023 is expected to produce a more impressive result than the preceding two years.

Meanwhile, the financial performance of Caverton suffered a setback in the financial year ended December 31, 2022, with the group’s revenue dropping by 16 percent from N34.76 billion in 2021 to N29.23 billion in 2022.

As a result of the decline in revenue, the Group recorded a loss after tax of N5.08 billion in the review financial period, representing 9 percent decrease from N5.06 billion recorded in 2021.

After tax loss stood at N5.16 billion as against N4.34 billion in 2021.

The group’s total assets also dropped by 7 percent in 2022 at N74.46 billion compared with N79.80 billion reported as at December 31, 2021.

Looking ahead, the CEO noted that the company will continue to capitalise on the abundant opportunities available in the global market and Africa, while providing quality marine and aviation logistics services to support companies within the oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, Aderemi Makanjuola was re-elected to lead the board of the group by shareholder.

Other directors who got re-elected to the board included Bello Gwandu and Akinsola Falola.

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