Lafarge denies Kenyan cement dominance

21 May 2014

Lafarge SA rejected Kenya’s antitrust authority’s assertion that the company may be flouting domestic competition rules and said it wants to work with the government to boost returns in the nation’s cement industry. 

The Competition Authority of Kenya is probing the company’s influence on prices through its 59% stake in Bamburi Cement Co. and 42% interest in East Africa Portland Cement Co., the nation’s biggest and third-largest producers of cement. Didier Tresarrieu, Lafarge’s representative on EAPCC’s board said new entrants were decreasing Lafarge’s influence.

“With new players and growing demand, Bamburi’s market share has been decreasing and is now about 39%,” said Tresarrieu, a former MD at Bamburi. “None of the players is dominant and no possibility of abuse of a dominant position.”
Dangote Cement Plc, the continent’s biggest producer of the building material, plans to establish a $600 million production plant in Kenya, the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, Tom Amolo, said on May 4.

EAPCC warned last week that full-year profit may drop at least 25% because of increased competition. Sales have fallen “dramatically” in the year that ends June 30, it said.

By Charles Wachira

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