PPC raises prices and volumes

South Africa-based cement producer PPC said it improved effective selling prices in its South African cement business and is steadily increasing output at its operations in the rest of Africa. 

The company saw a rise in volumes of 15 and 35% in Zimbabwe and Rwanda, respectively in the five months to August, according to an investor presentation at the RMB Morgan Stanley Big Five Investor Conference in Cape Town.

Effective selling prices increased by 2% in South Africa and by 2-6% in Zimbabwe. While volumes declined in Botswana, higher prices and improved cost efficiency were able to offset the drop. 

With bidders vying for the company, PPC has seemingly been responding to concerns among investors about its liquidity, according to analysts.

PPC said earlier in September it would cut capex by between 16-35% until 2019 and would now focus on bringing its other investments in the rest of Africa into operation.

PPC said it had improved its debt position in August when compared with June and had started negotiations with lenders regarding the restructuring of outstanding debt in the Democratic Republic of Congo.