Lafarge Africa declares N8.6bn PAT for Q1

Lafarge Africa Plc made profit after tax of N8.6bn in the first quarter of 2015 with its revenue for the period rising by 15 per cent year-on-year to N57bn.

The cement and building solutions provider said while the group’s revenue was up by 15 per cent, the company’s revenue jumped by 25 per cent.

It explained that its operations had a strong quarter with 16 per cent volume growth and a favorable mix and pricing, leading up to its overall 25 per cent growth.

“The ready-mix revenue grew by 40 per cent and South Africa by seven per cent,” it said in a statement, adding that Ashaka “was affected by the insecurity in the North and heightened election apprehensions in March 2015, and saw a temporary revenue dip in Q1.”

The Chairman, Board of Directors, Lafarge Africa, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, was quoted as saying of the performance, “Our company has delivered a good performance in spite of the general elections and market uncertainty. We remain highly committed to delivering a strong result in 2015 in line with our ultimate objective of improving value to our shareholders.”

On his part, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa, Mr. Guillaume Roux, explained that the cement giant had achieved stability in its operations, marked by the “solid performance”.

He added, “The consolidation of our businesses and expansion projects presents an excellent foundation for future growth. Our management team is fully mobilised to deliver operational excellence while also leveraging on the strength of the Lafarge Group.”

Lafarge Africa said that during the quarter, its Nigerian ReadyMix business expanded to commence aggregate business.

“This is a remarkable step for our business in achieving our objectives of delivering innovative and quality building solutions,” it said.

The board of directors of Lafarge Africa Plc granted approval for a mandatory tender offer to all qualifying shareholders of Ashaka Cement Plc in 2014.

“Consequently, the tender offer is now concluded and regulatory approval has been obtained for the approval of the shares transferred. Lafarge Africa ownership stake in Ashaka Cement has increased to 82.46 per cent from 58.61 per cent. We expect final regulatory approval in the coming weeks,” it said.

On the future, Lafarge Africa explained that 2015 would be an interesting year, stressing that it was confident about future performance.

It said, “The underlying growth trend in our sales reflects the huge market opportunities for cement sales and other business lines such as ready-mix and aggregates.

“We expect the cement market in Nigeria to remain strong with increased participation from the private sector. Our objective is to deliver innovative and quality building materials to meet the specific need of our customers, while also driving value creation for our shareholders.”

Lafarge Africa Plc, formerly known as Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc, is a combination of all Lafarge’s Nigerian operations (AshakaCem Plc, UNICEM, Atlas Cement Company Limited) and Lafarge South African Holdings Limited assets in order to create a stronger platform for growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, with value creating opportunities. The transaction was concluded in September 2014.

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Source : Punch

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