Lafarge nets K667m in 2014 ops


LAFARGE Cement Zambia has recorded a net income of K667 million during the financial year ended December 31, 2014, says chief executive officer Emmanuel Rigaux.

Mr Rigaux said the income represented an increase of 22 per cent over 2013 which he said was due to a strong operational and sound financial performance. In 2013 the net cash stood at about K520.25 million.

He said overall company turnover grew by 22 percent to K1.384 billion from K 1.132 billion in 2013, with aggregates recorded sales of 232, 000 tonnes during the period under review.

In a report presented at the company’s annual general meeting held at Lusaka’s Taj Pamodzi Hotel yesterday, Mr Rigaux said the firm’s performance during 2014 continued to effectively serve its high growth markets in the midst of a challenging trading environment marked by strong currency fluctuations, increased competition and multiple cost challenges.

He explained that growth in the cement market was underlined by Lafarge’s record sales of 1.2 million tonnes which was 4 percent higher than those recorded in the preceding period.

Mr Rigaux said the 22 percent growth in 2014 was driven by high volumes, pricing actions and a better product sales mix resulting from the                                                                             firm’s customer segmentation initiative.

“The company’s increase in profit after tax of 25 percent was driven by favourable sales volumes, the launch of new products, as well as cost control initiatives.

“Net cash generated from operating activities increased to K667 million, driven by higher operating income.

The company ended 2014 in a solid cash positive position without any external debt,” he said.

Mr Rigaux said the company’s aggregates business added to its range of product lines offering customers wider choice with high quality standards setting Lafarge Zambia as the leader in construction solutions, not just cement.

He said in order to fulfill the company’s ambition to supply construction solutions and find new relays for profitable growth, the company set up key partnerships in 2014 which created value both for its customers and Lafarge Zambia.

And Lafarge Zambia chairman Mr  Muna Hantuba said shareholders directly benefited from the company’s stock performance as share price rose by 64 percent to end at K26 at end of 31 December 2014.

Mr Hantuba said the company was currently focused on the new expansion programme with a state of the art new mill in Ndola.

He said an additional 100, 000 tonnes per year of milling capacity would be added, adding that in Chilanga, the expansion plans as announced in March 2014 were on track.

Mr Hantuba said the new project was set to begin in 2015 and would be completed by 2018, propelling the company into new markets, both domestic and regionally.

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