Lafarge Africa Plc recorded double-digit growths in sales and profitability in the third quarter, with gross turnover rising by 10.3 per cent to N179.9 billion.
Key extracts of the nine-month report for the period ended September 30, 2020 showed that Lafarge Africa’s sales rose from N163.1 billion to N179.9 billion. Profit after tax also grew by 37.1 per cent from N20.6 billion in third quarter 2019 to N28.2 billion in third quarter 2020.
Lafarge Africa had distributed N16.11 billion to shareholders as cash dividend for the 2019 business year after the cement group completed a major balance sheet restructuring. Shareholders received a dividend per share of N1. Lafarge Africa did not pay any dividend for the 2018 business year.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Lafarge Africa for the year ended December 31, 2019 had shown that total turnover dropped from N217.8 billion in 2018 to N213 billion in 2019. Gross profit also declined from N67.11 billion to N55.95 billion. Operating profit also dropped from N38.53 billion in 2018 to N34.91 billion in 2019.
With the successful completion of its capital injection and balance sheet restructuring, the group recovered from pre-tax loss from continuing operations of N1.51 billion in 2018 to a pre-tax profit of N17.89 billion in 2019.
Country Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc, Khaled El Dokani, said the performance of the company was due to its turnaround and cost-reduction strategy and the divestment of the South African business.
According to him, the decrease in net debt has significantly strengthened the group’s balance sheet and has placed it in a vantage position to face the future.
He noted that Lafarge Africa has taken necessary measures to protect the health of its employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders from the ravaging impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He pointed out that the construction sector and construction sites are generally more resilient than other sectors and Lafarge Africa has a strengthened balance sheet and is well equipped to weather the storm.
He said the company is closely monitoring the evolving situation and the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Nigerian market.
He noted that the Nigerian cement industry growth momentum is expected to slow down in 2020 compared to 2019 on the back of the Coronavirus pandemic and the challenging global macro-economic environment.
He said the group has launched an action plan-health, cost and cash to curtail the effect of the disruptions on its business adding that the group will continue to focus on the implementation of its cost optimisation initiatives during this period to minimise the impact on the business.
Year-end shareholding analysis showed that Lafarge Hiolcim now holds 83.81 per cent majority equity stake through two subsidiaries- Associated International Cement Limited (AIC UK), which holds 27.77 per cent equity stake and CariCement BV, which holds 56.04 per cent equity stake. No any other shareholder held more than five per cent stake in the company.
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