After the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the financial year 2021 will undoubtedly be a period of significant rebound for most African companies. This is evidenced by the turnover of the Algerian giant Sonatrach (#1), which in 2021 soared by 70%. Meanwhile, our latest edition of the Top 500 Companies ranking, which focuses on the performance of companies in their financial year 2020, was marked by a depression.
Few companies can claim success on the scale of Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom (#56). Since it was founded, in 1997, it has grown to become East Africa’s second most valuable firm in The Africa Report’s Top 500 Companies ranking, with a domestic subscriber base that represents two thirds of Kenyan mobile users. Its market capitalisation of $12.5bn is nearly twice that of the nine next biggest Kenyan companies combined.
Two years ago, Sasol (#3) experienced unprecedented headwinds triggered by the Covid-19 macroeconomic shock and a collapse in oil and chemicals prices. Combined, these factors placed pressure on the global chemicals and energy company’s highly leveraged balance sheet.
Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts... we’re coming in for landing. In these still turbulent times, with Covid-19 still a threat and the Russian aggression in Ukraine exacerbating tensions, the clouds are gradually dissipating in the African sky.