African Gems | Alexandria Container and Cargo tops Global Finance’s first annual ranking of the 25 Best-Performing Companies in Africa.     

Author: Denise Bedell

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BEST-PERFORMING COMPANIES BY SECTOR

Rank
Company
Country
Liquidity Ratio
Leverage Ratio
Return  On Assets
Profit Margin (%)
Total Score

Chemicals, Rubber,Plastics, Non-Metallic products

1

SIDI KERIR PETROCHEMICALS

EG

1.75

68.29

25.31

47.77

102

2

ABU KIR FERTILIZERS AND CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES

EG

2.06

65.46

27.79

41.38

102

3

SOCIETE LES CIMENTS DU MAROC

MA

1.81

84.24

10.71

29.67

125

4

MISR CEMENT COMPANY - QENA

EG

1.50

63.94

27.58

39.09

132

5

EGYPTIAN INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS

EG

1.46

78.22

12.94

29.64

137

Construction

1

CALGRO M3

ZA

0.76

43.50

10.95

17.87

387

2

TALAAT MOUSTAFA GROUP

EG

1.36

47.62

1.19

21.66

393

3

PALM HILLS DEVELOPMENTS

EG

1.21

27.79

2.38

16.51

474

4

WILSON BAYLY HOLMES - OVCON

ZA

1.22

36.31

3.16

2.21

543

5

GROUP FIVE

ZA

1.14

27.11

4.04

4.36

546

Food, Beverages, Tobacco

1

PHOENIX BEVERAGES

MU

1.22

75.58

14.52

14.74

197

2

SOCIETE FRIGORIFIQUE ET BRASSERIE DE TUNIS

TN

1.25

63.96

13.15

18.46

216

3

NAMIBIA BREWERIES

NA

1.11

60.45

13.34

14.17

262

4

FAN MILK

GH

1.17

65.39

12.15

12.19

263

5

DELTA SUGAR

EG

0.72

75.11

12.43

19.06

279

Gas, Water, Electricity

1

AIR LIQUIDE DE TUNISIE

TN

1.56

57.01

9.75

14.96

263

2

LYONNAISE DES EAUX DE CASABLANCA

MA

n.a.

100.00

1.59

90.41

385

3

KENYA ELECTRICITY GENERATING

KE

1.07

30.66

1.13

23.00

480

4

UMEME

UG

0.96

25.89

5.82

10.28

506

5

KENYA POWER & LIGHTING

KE

0.73

24.63

2.93

9.12

599

Hotels & Restaurants

1

SPUR CORPORATION

ZA

1.57

70.41

18.47

26.85

136

2

FAMOUS BRANDS

ZA

1.25

76.51

25.15

20.69

142

3

TRANSCORP HOTELS

NG

1.45

74.33

4.63

30.06

237

4

CITY LODGE HOTELS

ZA

1.53

33.21

16.28

35.62

255

5

GOLDEN PYRAMIDS PLAZA

EG

1.34

53.99

6.94

41.85

262

Metals & Metal Products

1

COMPAGNIE MINIERE DE TOUISSIT

MA

4.27

81.11

20.24

49.35

46

2

ASSORE

ZA

2.37

92.06

21.13

25.26

73

3

SOCIETE METALLURGIQUE D’IMITER

MA

5.74

87.99

13.59

31.20

74

4

AFRICAN RAINBOW MINERALS

ZA

1.62

77.35

9.02

37.75

145

5

KUMBA IRON ORE

ZA

0.63

53.05

21.07

39.37

303

Post & Telecommunications

1

EGYPTIAN SATELLITE

EG

5.76

77.98

14.89

38.32

72

2

TELECOM EGYPT

EG

1.98

84.65

6.28

25.03

181

3

SOCIETE NATIONALE DE TELECOMMUNICATIONS DU SENEGAL

SN

0.99

58.59

17.17

38.37

220

4

MTN GROUP

ZA

1.23

52.60

12.65

33.92

237

5

VODACOM GROUP

ZA

0.91

30.35

17.77

23.07

349

Primary Sector

1

ALEXANDRIA MINERAL OILS

EG

4.63

85.86

21.95

10.92

123

2

AFROCENTRIC INVESTMENT

ZA

2.54

71.99

9.85

12.58

198

3

OCEANA GROUP

ZA

1.62

58.71

19.29

17.38

199

4

SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT

NG

1.85

55.93

9.68

32.55

211

5

MASTER DRILLING GROUP

ZA

1.22

67.79

9.91

19.74

228

Transport

1

ALEXANDRIA CONTAINER AND CARGO

EG

6.00

89.86

37.33

59.31

13

2

SWISSPORT TANZANIA

TZ

2.67

71.87

46.54

42.06

67

3

CANAL SHIPPING AGENCIES

EG

2.24

70.05

6.88

54.24

165

4

GRINDROD

ZA

2.70

53.29

3.23

8.99

390

5

TRENCOR

ZA

1.23

31.93

1.78

25.68

428

Wholesale & Retail Trade

1

TRUWORTHS INTERNATIONAL

ZA

4.35

82.24

29.79

31.39

51

2

TANZANIA CIGARETTE

TZ

1.14

72.16

27.74

34.06

138

3

LEWIS GROUP

ZA

4.12

69.28

9.99

20.49

164

4

MR PRICE GROUP

ZA

1.81

63.82

29.15

17.92

164

5

ITALTILE

ZA

0.95

82.20

18.76

25.39

175

Source For Data: Orbis By Bureau van Dijk
De Pontet, Eurasia Group: Currency volatility is a major headache for African companies.

Phoenix Beverages of Mauritius tops the ranking for food, beverages and Tobacco, and Tunisia’s Air Liquide Tunisie comes first in the gas, water and electricity segment. In the hotels and restaurants sector, it is steakhouse franchise Spur Corporation of South Africa that leads the pack. The company boasts a big international presence—particularly in the UK. Egyptian Satellite and Telecom Egypt rank first and second, respectively, for post and telecommunications companies, and Alexandria Mineral Oils, also of Egypt, tops the ranking for the primary sector.

PERFORMANCE RISKS

African public companies are dealing with a number of risks that could have a significant impact on their performance over the rest of the year. In particular, they will be facing volatility related to a continued commodity price decline, uncertainty over the timing and impact of a US Federal Reserve rate hike, and the slowdown in China.

Some African countries are very exposed to China, particularly Angola. The Southern African nation relies heavily on Chinese state-owned enterprises for infrastructure developments, and China is its biggest export partner—taking more than 60% of Angolan exports (especially oil and iron), according to MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Most African frontier markets are actually oil importers. In fact, the vast majority of countries on the continent benefit, overall, from lower oil prices. The notable exceptions are Angola, Nigeria and the handful of other major oil producers.

Currency volatility is a critical issue for companies in Africa. Currency weakness has dogged a number of markets and continues to be of concern.

Philippe de Pontet, director, Africa, at Eurasia Group, notes that “The cedi of Ghana has lost over 50% of its value over the last calendar year. Likewise, the Zambian kwacha is under extreme stress—mostly because of global economic conditions but, more specifically, the fall in copper prices.”

De Pontet added: “Clearly for local companies—and multinational companies on the ground—it is a tremendous headache dealing with uncertainty over the exchange rate.” He notes that quite a few African countries are still pegged to the euro, so they are exposed to its fluctuations. But the euro and dollar fluctuate much less than indigenous African currencies. “Those monetary systems that are pegged either to the dollar or euro might be better positioned than some others.”

Rising inflation is also a concern for corporates, with Nigeria, for example, likely to breach double-digit inflation by the end of the year.

The risk surrounding a US interest rate hike is the same as that faced by companies—and countries—worldwide: uncertainty as to timing and increased borrowing costs. De Pontet notes: “It is likely we will see, at least in the immediate aftermath [of a rate hike], a spike in yields in frontier markets, almost irrespective of the country.”

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