Flour Mills of Nigeria Jumps Most in 14 Months as Profit Rises

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, the country’s biggest miller by market value, rose the most in 14 months as a stake sale to Lafarge Africa Plc last year buoyed profit.

The shares jumped 10 percent to 19.88 naira by 1:02 p.m. in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, the biggest advance since Dec. 3, 2014. Net income for the nine months through December rose to 19 billion naira ($95.3 million) compared with 3.3 billion naira a year earlier, the Lagos-based company said in a statement published Wednesday on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website.

Flour Mills’ profit “arose from exceptional income of about 24 billion naira from the stake sale,” which is a big leap in a period of economic downturn, Efemena Esalomi, a consumer analyst at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by phone from Lagos.

Lafarge Africa in November agreed to purchase Flour Mills’ 30 percent holding in United Cement Co. of Nigeria. Africa’s biggest economy is facing a squeeze in consumption as the nation of more than 170 million people suffers from a slump in crude oil prices. The economy probably grew 3 percent last year, the slowest pace since 1999, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Flour Mills’ shares have declined 4.4 percent this year compared to a 17 percent retreat by the 179-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index.

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