Pretoria Portland Cement Co, Africa’s largest producer of the building material, said demand in southern Africa will decline this year with a recovery in regional orders expected in 2011.
This year “is probably going to be weaker than 2009,” Chief Executive Officer Paul Stuiver said in an interview in Johannesburg today. “We’re only seeing a recovery in 2011.”
Infrastructure projects announced in the South African budget on Feb. 17 will be “terribly exciting” for PPC over the long-term, Stuiver said. “But in the short-term we’re not seeing the numbers coming through. Projects are slow getting off the ground.”
PPC expects the coal price to rise, increasing its input costs, Stuiver said.
The company has a strong balance sheet and will not need immediate funding if it decides to pursue any acquisitions or enter a new market in sub-Saharan Africa in the next 12 to 18 months, he said.
“There’s nothing firm on the table,” Stuiver said on potential acquisitions.