Lafarge Zambia cement production shoots up

Production of cement by Lafarge Zambia plc has risen by 13 per cent to 587,000 tonnes during the first half of the year ended June 30, says chief executive officer Emmanuel Rigaux.

Mr Rigaux said during the same period under review sales turnover went up by 27 per cent to K614 million while profit before tax rose by 57 per cent to K271 million.

“Profit after tax grew by 66 per cent to K181 million while company earnings during the same period under review grew by the same margin to K0.90,” said Mr Rigaux

Giving the main highlights of the firm’s performance during the period up to June 30, Mr Rigaux said results improved despite the fact that both domestic and export markets have been particularly challenging with stiffening competition, cost inflation and a number of  changes in the regulatory environment.

He said with the development of innovative products such as roadcem, wallcrete and logistical solutions tailored to the needs of customers, sales volumes continued to improve.

“Thanks to the development of innovative products (Roadcem, Wallcrete) and logistical solutions tailored to the needs of our customers, sales volumes continued to improve,

“Cement production grew 13 per cent to reach close to 600,000 tones driven by improved industrial performance at Chilanga and Ndola plants,” he said.

He said the financial position and cash flow of the company remained solid with strong cash position and without external debts  as the firm engaged  in the Free Float Compliance Programme and listing with the Lusaka Stock Exchange.

This has created a stronger, broader than ever shareholder base.

“Our priority to improve our level of customer service through innovative new products, a refocused sales and customer service team, and state-of the-art logistical solutions have started to show results,

“Together with improvements in operational and industrial performance at our Ndola and Chilanga plants, we have managed to attain encouraging first half results despite a challenging environment in Zambia and key export markets,” said Mr Rigaux.

He expected the firm’s continued efforts both on the customer side and on the cost control side will enable Lafarge Zambia to grow profitably and meet the needs of domestic and export customers with a strong focus on infrastructure and mining projects both in Zambia and Dr Congo.

“Our capacity expansion projects in both Ndola and Chilanga currently underway will enable the company to remain the most innovative and preferred supplier of construction solutions in Zambia and Dr Congo,” he said.

Mr Rigaux said demand for cement was expected to remain strong for the rest of the year while innovative product services and solutions will be introduced as required to satisfy the growing demand in the construction sector.