Despite the harsh operating environment in recent times, Lafarge WAPCO Plc, within the first nine months of this year, grew its turnover by nine per cent to close the third quarter with N31.9 billion.
Also, the company will pay the last tranche of its N10.5 billion debt this November, thus making it a debt free entity.
Mr. George Lourandos, WAPCO’s Managing Director, made these disclosure at a media briefing in Lagos, stating that, though the company faced some operational challenges in the financial year, it would continue to improve on its performance in the years ahead.
He said with the new focus of the company coupled with no debt hanging on it in the next financial year, shareholders would benefit immensely in terms of return on investment (ROI) and capital appreciation of the company’s stocks in the market.
Speaking on the company’s general performance during the period, its General Manager, Finance, Mr. Emmanuel Oloruntoki, stated that the energy crisis in the country coupled with the cost of importation of one of the essential raw materials for cement making had reduced what the company would have recorded as profit. As a result, its operating profit inched up by just 0.4 per cent from N8.64 billion netted during the same period in 2007, to N8.68 billion; its pre-tax profit slightly rose by 2.8 per cent from N8.9 billion to N9.03 billion. The company profit after taxation was up by 2.5 per cent to close the period with N7.9 billion from N7.73 billion.
On the company’s future outlook, Lourandos said: “Steady progress is being recorded on Lafarge WAPCO’s ongoing expansion project. By the end of 2010, a new 2.2Mts line, which will increase the aggregate Lafarge WAPCO capacity to 4.2 million metric tonnes will be installed. Lafarge WAPCO currently has a capacity of 2 million metric tonnes through its two plants at Ewekoro and Sagamu.