Recapturing SA market share vital for new PPC chief

23 April 2015

Following his first 100 days as CEO of cement producer PPC, Darryl Castle reports that action plans have been put in place to more aggressively win back

market share within South Africa, while pressing ahead with its high-potential African expansion strategy.

Castle took up his position on January 12, following an ugly boardroom battle with former CEO, Ketso Gordhan.
Speaking in Johannesburg on the same day as PPC marketed its 123rd birthday, Castle said he and his executive team were concentrating on improving the performance of the company, despite the lacklustre South African economy.

Programmes to capture market share, reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies were being formalised under a ‘profit improvement programme’, the details of which would be unveiled together with interim results on May 19.

Having rejected rival AfriSam’s friendly merger offer – primarily owing to the risks posed to a deal by South Africa’s competition legislation – PPC would be pursuing an organic growth strategy in South Africa.
The focus would be an improved domestic market offering, with a more aggressive stance in fending off import competition.

PPC would also overhaul its domestic market offering, combining its “premium brand” status with greater pricing responsiveness.

In the rest of Africa on-time and on-budget project delivery was being prioritised, along with the development of country-specific business plans so that projects in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, the DRC and Ethiopia delivered on their promise.

He stressed that the developments would provide the platform for the group’s next 123 years, but said that the group would need to be far more innovative in the way it approached future opportunities, with the “obvious” markets and targets having already been pursued by PPC and its rivals.

The other immediate priority related to managing the debt associated with the projects.


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