Lafarge Africa Plc, for the first quarter of 2018, has recorded net sales of N81 billion. Despite sales slightly lower than the corresponding period in 2017 by one percent due to volume in Nigeria and South Africa, the company has projected a turnaround for the first half, having considered the fundamentals.
The CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc, Michel Puchercos, said the recurring EBITDA in Nigeria maintained margins at 29% and delivered strong operational performance.
Speaking on the financial outcome of the South African business, Puchercos said the results were affected by the timing of inventory movements and performance in South Africa while attributing the strong margins in the Nigerian business to the commercial and energy strategies that were implemented.
The Lafarge Africa CEO said the South African operations are more stable following turnaround measures like price adjustment and cost reduction initiatives.
“For South Africa, the economy is expected to grow in 2018. The turnaround plan of the South African operations is focused on cost containment, commercial transformation and industrial stabilisation. The overall goal is to create value for shareholders through an attractive growth profile and good margins,” he said.
Puchercos disclosed that Lafarge Africa Plc’s commercial, logistic and industrial operations in Q1 2018 continued to improve strongly despite inflation while noting that the energy improvement plan continued to outperform with increased use of Alternative Fuel and Coal while logistic and commercial initiatives helped to sustain market share during the quarter.
“Full year outlook for the cement market remains favourable with positive signs of recovery in March. Our Business turnaround actions will be consolidated further in 2018 through energy optimisation as well as commercial and logistic improvement,” he said.