Lafarge Africa reports N37.4b loss in nine months

02 November 2016

Lafarge Africa Plc has reported a loss after tax of N37.4 billion for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2016, a 215% decline from a profit after tax of N32.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2015.

The cement manufacturing group’s results showed net sales decline by 25% to N161 from N215 billion in 2015 while cost of sales declined marginally to N142.9 billion from N143.3 billion as selling and marketing expenses grew 18% to N3.9 billion from N3.3 billion.

However, Admin Expenses were reduced by 14% to N16.3 billion from N19.1 billion expended one year ago.

The group further cut finance expenses by 5% to N8.2 billion from N8.6 billion, but income before tax fell from N36.5 billion to a loss before tax of N40.4 billion following a 79% reduction in investment and finance income  of N797 million in 2016.

Commenting on the group’s performance, Michel Puchercos, CEO of Lafarge Africa said: “Our focus on volume and prices started to deliver during the 3rd Quarter. In September, all our plants were running at record performance level, Mfamosing Line 2 started its operation on August 28th (clinker) and prices increased by 650N/bag in September representing above 40 percent price change.

“In spite of the recessionary economic environment and market uncertainties, our company is positioned to deliver improved performance going forward. Our immediate objective is to optimise our processes, reduce operational costs and deliver strong EBITDA margins. However, uncertainty remains on the macroeconomic environment and its effect on the cement market. 2016 Outlook In light of the development in Nigeria, we expect a soft landing of the cement demand in Nigeria in the low range of 7-10% for the full year.”

The South African cement operations reported an Operating EBITDA of N1,1 Billion in Q3 reflecting an improvement despite the current stagnant economy, high competitive cement market and poor labour relations resulting in a loss of production due to unplanned work stoppages. 

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