Nigeria’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement, has said strong demand in April is likely to help boost second-quarter revenue to NGN98.5bn (US$623.3m). However, the start-up of its long-awaited plant in Senegal is facing further delays due to land issues.
Dangote said in a statement that pretax profit is expected to reach NGN50.6bn (US$320m). First-quarter net income rose 81 per cent to NGN53.7bn as volumes rose by 38 per cent.
“The year has begun well for Dangote Cement and our 38 per cent increase in volumes far outpaced the Nigerian market’s strong growth of 16 per cent,” company CEO, Devakumar Edwin, said in the statement.
“Our gas supply has been better this year, and that has driven margins upwards from the first quarter of 2012,” he added.
The company said that its new 1.5Mta plant in Senegal was unable to start production as scheduled in the quarter because of a dispute over the land title. The company said it’s working on an “acceptable solution” to the dispute that would allow the site to begin operations within weeks, Dangote said in a statement.
Dangote's land for the cement project based in Pout has been the object of considerable litigation because it had previously been granted to an important local family for agriculture. Dangote's susequent title, granted by the previous president without regard to the prior permit, was ruled invalid.