Lafarge Cement profit doubles, Zambia

Lafarge Cement profit doubles, Zambia
Published: 02 October 2009

Lafarge Cement has almost doubled its profit to ZMK61.7bn from ZMK34bn as demand for cement is expected to remain strong.

The company has recorded an increase in the cement volume output by 49 per cent, according to the interim results for the half-year ended June 30, 2009. The increase in volume has been attributed to the increase in capacity from Chilanga II.

The results indicate that the company registered revenue of over K308.2bn compared to K168.4bn last year for the same period, resulting in a profit of K61.7bn.

It says the demand was subdued until April when both domestic and regional markets improved and that the trend has continued and both plants are operating at full capacity.

Lafarge notes that the new Chilanga II milling and packing plants were commissioned and the old plant was closed at the end of March 2009.

It, however, says that the performance of Chilanga II was affected by a technical problem until it was shut down in June and rectified.

The report also says that depreciation of the Kwacha resulted in significant increases in the cost of raw materials, services and spares and that most inputs continued to be imported.

It however says the company continues to explore all avenues to source materials locally.

The company also says that the installation of the replacement emission control equipment for Ndola line one and will be completed in the second half of this year as additional monitoring components were only received in July.

During the same period under review, Clinker was exported to Malawi.

On the outlook, Lafarge Cement expects demand to remain strong adding that the continued good plant performance will ensure that sufficient cement is available to meet demand.