West African Portland Cement (WAPCO) PLC which recently concluded its new plant at a cost of Euro 200m notes that its profit and turnover climbed 37 per cent, and 13 per cent, respectively, for the nine months ended September 30, 2005.
These impressive performances, spokesmen said, were bolstered by in flow of cash from shareholders on the Right Issue launched in May 2005, and which was successfully concluded in September 2005. And part of the proceeds from the Right Issue, was used to pay down the loan of the company, which he said had been reduced from N30 billion to N17 billion by the end of September 2005.
As the financial director explained: "What actually happened was that the construction of our flagship plant at Ewekoro was done on state by stage basis. We took short terms loans from 28 banks, and immediately after the completion of the project, it was then decided that administratively, it is tasking to dealing with 28 banks. So we took steps to consolidate the loans into five core Nigerian banks. This reduces the administrative burdens and at the same time, a little bit of interest expenses. We went further to restructure the loan in such a way as to reduce significantly the interest expenses. The benefit of the loan restructuring is this nine-months result, and for the rest of the three months, October to December 2005, we anticipate further significant benefits."
“We want to see our shareholders get returns on their investment, and we want to see our share prices rebound to the level it used to be (N50.00 per share) before the construction of our flagship plant at Ewekoro, which has continues to ramp up to record production levels and the refurbishment of Sagamau plant embarked upon since last year has begun to yield the desired benefits. Baring any unforseen circumstances, the trend in performance is expected to continue to the end of the year and beyond. In 2006/2007, we are going to survive by improving on our performance without getting any extra loan from the bank," and the company’s Chairman, added "We are committed to pay dividends on the Right Issues. We reaffirm that commitment. At the end of the year, we should be able to pay some dividends."