PPC Zimbabwe hit by inflation, lower demand

PPC Zimbabwe hit by inflation, lower demand
Published: 31 May 2011

South African-owned Pretoria Portland Cement’s Zimbabwe division has reported production and inflation problems as obstacles in the year ending March 2011.

This was largely because of an upsurge in selling prices and also poor performance by other sectors. Some of the biggest PPC customers are in the steel and alloys industry that has not been performing well.

According to financial results, PPC’s group revenue declined by 5% to ZAR3257m (US$472m) from ZAR3421m in 2010 and total cement volumes declined by 7%.

“Group revenue declined due to lower sales volumes across all divisions and selling price increases that were less than the rate of cost inflation.”

PPC Zimbabwe’s domestic sales increased by almost 20% while operating performance was hampered by production problems at the Colleen Bawn factory and significant price inflation of key items during the early part of the financial year.

Last year PPC replaced its clinker operation at Colleen Bawn in order to meet demand.

“Improvements in operational performance and selling prices were achieved by PPC Zimbabwe during the latter part of the reporting period,” read the results.

Lime sales declined by 10%, being negatively impacted by key customers in the steel and alloys industries suffering operational problems and experiencing extended shutdowns.