Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), SA’s largest cement producer, said yesterday that its sales had decreased significantly since 2007, but that energy and mining projects in Africa would help to lift sales to previous levels. The company said regional cement sales fell to 12Mt this year, from 15.3Mt three years ago.
CEO Paul Stuiver said the introduction of the National Credit Act, a decline in the residential housing market and the effects of the global economic recession led to the decline in sales in SA, but that PPC saw significant potential in African markets, such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which have seen a proliferation of mining and energy projects.
“For cement sales to increase in SA, we are relying on a rise in infrastructure development, residential property growth and greater lending by banks. But economic recovery is slow and we understand that SA suffered more from the global financial crisis than many other emerging markets which indicates to us that our medium-term growth is elsewhere,” said Mr Stuiver.
PPC head of investor relations and strategy Kevin Odendaal said SA’s cement consumption was low, compared to developed countries.
“We have calculated that each person in SA consumes about 250kg of cement a year, compared to about 400kg of cement consumed by a person in a developed country. In some developing countries (in Africa), this number is 30kg per person a year. This is a massive gap, which PPC should aim to fill.