(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon’s national refining company (Sonara) achieved a positive net result of CFA78.9 billion in 2021, Chair of the Board Ndoh Bertha revealed in a recent statement.
A boost from the State
As a reminder, in 2019 and 2020, the public company recorded losses of CFA107.3 billion and CFA10 billion respectively, according to data from the Technical Rehabilitation Commission (CTR) of public and para-public enterprises. The company did not explain this incredible jump in performance but it seems to be the consequence of measures put in place by the State (majority shareholder with 96% of shares) in 2020. Indeed, the government has implemented various reforms to allow the restructuring of Sonara's debt. Some of these measures should allow the public company to increase its margins.
The government covered 80% of the imports of petroleum products with a fixed margin of CFA16 per liter. It also helped develop a new price structure for petroleum products including a "support to the refinery" line to ensure the company gets a minimum additional margin of CFA47.88 per liter to cover its costs. According to the CTR, Cameroon consumed 1.86 billion liters of white products (super, diesel, kerosene) in 2020. Taking into account the fact that the needs increase each year by more or less 5%, the consumption in 2021 is estimated at 2 billion liters.
On this basis, Sonara earned nearly CFA25 billion last year as an importer of fuel and nearly CFA95 billion in "support for the refinery." This made a total of nearly CFA120 billion. Excluding the social, financial (which have been smoothed out with the restructuring of the debt owed to banks and even traders) and tax charges, Sonara could have made a profit of CFA78.9 billion over the period.
It should however be recalled that the company’s equity remains negative and stands at -CFA99.4 billion, according to a statement by Ndoh Bertha. This means that to get out of the "bankruptcy situation" as defined by the Ohada Uniform Act, Sonara's shareholders must inject CFA99.4 billion into the company. The company did not reveal if the CFA78.9 billion in profits will be used for this purpose but actions need to be taken to attract partners.
Aboudi Ottou and Sylvain Andzongo