Benue Cement Company (BCC) has returned to profitability as a result of the major restructuring efforts undertaken by the new core investor which bought the Federal Government’s 35.39 per cent shares in the company in the year 2000. Though the Federal Government divested its shareholding in BCC to Dangote Industries Limited (new core investor) in April 2000, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) handed over the Federal Government shares to Dangote Industries Limited in 2004.
Specifically, BCC Plc has recorded a turnover of N4.005 billion in the financial year ended December 31, 2005. Profit before tax and exceptional tax stood at N1.374 billion as against a loss of N911.841 million in the corresponding period of 2004. Profit after tax and exceptional items was N2.243 billion as against a loss of N912.460 million. The shareholders funds stood at a negative of N1.354 billion for the year under review as against a negative of N3.559 billion.
According to Managing Director/CEO of Benue Cement, Alhaji T.A. Sijuade: "The results for 2005 demonstrates very clearly the benefits to the company from the major restructuring efforts undertaken in the last 24 months. Cement dispatches achieved in 2005 were far above the volume recorded for 2004. The improved sales volume, cost reduction and other re-organization efforts led to the significant increase in operating profit compared with the negative position recorded in the last five years"
While explaining the developemrnt of the factory, he said "We have embarked on the process of reactivation and expansion of the factory’s plant capacity. A complete overhaul of the plant was therefore carried out right from the crusher to bagging plant The production line 1 was eventually reactivated to its original capacity of 450,000tpa in March 2005."
Speaking further, he disclosed that the new management plans to attain a turnover of over N60 billion per annum when the company will be producing 3Mta. "This expectation entails upgrading the capacity of the plant and that is what we are doing. At the end, a fully automated factory will be in place . Work is now progressing to install the second production line which will be producing a total production capacity of 3Mta" he added.