The shareholders of Lafarge Africa Plc have approved a dividend of N3 per share and a bonus of one for every ten shares for the year ended December 31, 2015.
The leading cement and building solutions provider, achieved growth in its operations as recorded in its full 2015 results, surmounting economic headwinds in Nigeria.
The company’s revenue grew by 2.5 per cent against previous year’s, reaching N267 billion in a challenging market. Strong cash flow amounting to N57.9 billion was also generated for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2015.
In the report presented at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos today, the company’s South West operations grew by eight per cent behind a number of initiatives such as the Key Distribution Scheme, a strong route to market and solid capacity utilization.
ReadyMix Nigeria also continued its strong growth with a 29.3 per cent growth in its turnover over prior year.
The Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Michel Puchercos stated thus: “the Nigerian operations of Lafarge Africa having been successfully unified and rationalized under one management team, is cognizant of the different stakeholders expectations and promise to drive efficiencies that will ultimately generate remarkable synergy savings for overall improved performance.
Puchercos disclosed that overall, new strategies in penetrating retail, new geographies and the technical segment were expected to push Lafarge Africa’s volumes to grow above a flat market in all three product lines.
Though South African market will remain challenging in 2016, the company plans to leverage the 2015 investments within the cement operations with a revamped sales team and route to market, specifically in aggregates, the company is set to continue benefitting from its strong network delivering results with two new quarries, being opened in the Gauteng market and Ready-Mix growth.
In his remarks, Chairman of Board of Directors, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun, noted that 2015 was transformational and that the first full operational year of the new enlarged company declaring, “we have now built a significant platform to drive value creation for all stakeholders and in particular, our shareholders. I thank our shareholders and my colleagues on the Board of Directors for their support and commitment that ensured that we were able to carry out these strategic initiatives”.
Commenting on the company’s future outlook, Balogun foresaw growth opportunities in 2016 and beyond for the building material sector.
“The 2016 Federal Government budget indicates a significant increase in the spending on infrastructure and capital projects. The Government recognizes the urgent need to re-invest in Nigerian infrastructure to catalyze much needed growth. With the on-going 2.5mt expansion project in Calabar, which is expected to be commissioned before year end, and plans for Ashaka, our cement production capacity in Nigeria is on the increase,” he stated.
The Chairman reported that the company continued to build on the successful completion of the Lafarge Africa asset consolidation through some strategic initiatives, including increasing its shareholding in Ashakacem to 82.46 per cent via a Mandatory Tender Offer and acquisition of further stake in Unicem.
He enjoined the shareholders to support the on-going Ashakacem Voluntary Tender Offer which, according to him, provides opportunity for the minorities to participate in a much larger growth platform, which Lafarge Africa represents.
“In simple terms, the offer creates the immediate and direct advantage of moving from investors in AshakaCem with 1mtpa cement production capacity to Lafarge Africa with 12mtpa and an additional 2,5mtpa due for commissioning by the end of 2016. The consideration offered for the tender is quite favourable to shareholders of AshakaCem,” he explained.
Lafarge Africa Plc strengthened its foundation further by increasing its shareholding in Mfamosing operations from 35 per cent to 50 per cent, with full management control and consolidation, even as an approval to increase this to 100 per cent has been secured from the Security Exchange Commission. Similarly, the shareholding in Ashakacem Plc. also increased from 58.61 per cent to 82.46 per cent in the year.