Kenya-based Bamburi Cement whose majority shares are owned by Lafarge, has posted a 42 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to $77 million (Shs13 billion) for last year.
The company also reported that its turnover had surged by 34 per cent to Shs55 billion, fuelled by a 15 per cent increase in cement sales. Bamburi sold 2Mt of cement in 2007, according to a press statement issued on February 26.
Bamburi’s chairman Richard Kemoli said; "despite the challenging business environment across the region," the group had "recorded strong sales across all markets stimulated by high Individual Home Builder demand and growth in the contractor segment."
Uganda was particularly a good market for the company last year boosted by the construction frenzy that preceded the November Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Chogm that the country hosted.
Bamburi is the owner of Hima Cement, one of Uganda’s leading cement producers. According to the statement Bamburi intends to spend up to Shs17 billion in the planned plant at Dura in Queen Elizabeth National Park. That plant is to be completed by 2010.
That plant has however been the subject of intense controversy ignited by concerns that the investment would upset the park’s ecological stability. HIMA has however conducted extensive surveys whose findings suggest the operations at Dura would not impact much on the park.
In fear of the devastating impact of Kenya’s recent violence, the statement said the unstable environment in that country would have adverse ramifications, in particular dampening demand and sparking cost pressures.
Robust growth was forecast for 2008 on the back of construction and infrastructural projects in the region but that many fear the volatility in Kenya could thwart business prospects. Uganda’s construction industry is expected to maintain its momentum this year and that could render substantial boost to cement demand.
The speed of Bujagali hydropower dam’s construction is bound to accelerate fast this year and that will require vast amounts of cement.
Photo credit: Lafarge Media Library.