Lafarge Africa Plc makers of Elephant Cement has been able to sustain its revenue growth by 38.9 percent for the period ended September 30, 2017 to N223,667 billion which is above N161,044 billion that was recorded same period in 2016.
Other highlight of the company unaudited third quarter financial statement show that profit before tax stood at N1,094 billion as against N40,368 billion loss that was declared same period in 2016. Profit after tax was N938 million as against N37,402 billion loss that was posted in 2016.
Cost of sales went up by 16 percent from N142,934 million in 2016 to N165,757 million in 2017. Commenting on the result Michel Puchercos, CEO of Lafarge Africa said: “Our Company continues to recover since we implemented the turnaround plan in September 2016 and have delivered a good performance even in a challenging market”.
He explained that as of September 2017, the cement demand in Nigeria was significantly lower than prior year. Adding that the company shipped its first batch of cement to the Ghana market, which was well accepted.
On South African economy which exited recession in second quarter 2017, that was supported by secondary and tertiary sectors. Puchercos said Cement revenue was up 30 percent supported by stable pricing and the strengthening of the Rand against the Naira. Although the gas shortages in the South West persisted, the plants ran efficiently on alternative energy sources.
For the 9-month period, Ewekoro II utilized 65 percent of coal and petcoke combined, as gas supply was low at about 36 percent. Ewekoro I plant utilized 44% of alternative fuels, with gas supply in the region of 50 percent while Sagamu achieved about 25% alternative fuel substitution over the same period.
Mfamosing plant in the South East region, utilized 99 percent gas in spite of a gas explosion in August. AshakaCem operations utilized 82 percent of coal over the same period. The energy strategy of Lafarge Africa delivers against the objectives set and enables the development of local businesses.
Overall cement demand in Nigeria is expected to close the year lower than the prior year, on account of the economic slowdown in the first half 2017. In South Africa, the environment gradually recovers from a recession but the challenges of cement overcapacity persist. In this context, Aggregate & Concrete operations will support business performance