Although unaudited results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2005 is several months behind schedule, just as the full year’s, shares of Ashaka Cement, Nigeria has remained the highest-priced in the building materials sub-sector recently. There is said to be a correlation between the current share price and the liquidity of the Lafarge subsidiary. Lafarge is a core-investor in Ashaka Cement, with 50 per cent shareholding, apart from being a core investor in the West African Portland Company, another major cement manufacturer. This is in addition to the robust asset quality, one of the best among companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
“There are no serious alternatives to Ashaka Cement in the building materials sub-sector, added to the fact that cement manufacturers are not yet able to meet local demand.
Some stock market operators believe the rise, and then stability in its price may not be unconnected partly with expectations of a likely 27.6 per cent growth in turnover at the end of the recently concluded 2005 financial year. From this, Profit After Tax is projected to grow by an even better 44.1 per cent from the previous year’s figures. If met, the company’s turnover would hit N16.03 billion in the full year, while net profit moves to N4.87 billion within the period.