Business Hilights
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Recession lowered Nigerian demand for cement—Lafarge boss

The chief executive officer of Lafarge AfricaPlc., Michel Puchercos has revealed that the negative impacts of recession touched the housing sector which was seen from the lowered demand within the period till September.

In an interview, he explained that “As of September 2017, the cement demand in Nigeria was significantly lower than prior year. Nevertheless, operating EBITDA for our Nigeria operations was up 4.0x at N41.7 billion and EBITDA margin stood at 30 per cent thanks to stable pricing environment, steady industrial operations, fuel flexibility, execution of our commercial and logistics performance improvement plan”.

“We shipped the first batch of cement to the Ghana market, which was well accepted. The South African economy exited a recession in second quarter 2017, supported by secondary and tertiary sectors. Cement revenue was up 30 per cent supported by stable pricing and the strengthening of the Rand against the Naira. However, operations were impacted in the quarter by industrial challenges at the Lichtenburg plant.

Continuing, Puchercos noted that “Overall cement demand in Nigeria is expected to close the year lower than the prior year, on account of the economic slowdown in the first half 2017. In South Africa, the environment gradually recovers from a recession but the challenges of cement overcapacity persist. In this context, Aggregate & Concrete operations will support business performance’.

Business Hilights recalls that Lafarge Africa is the most diversified cement company in Nigeria in terms of product offerings.

Currently, the company offers different types of cement solutions including the flagship product, Elephant Cement, Elephant Supaset, ReadyMix, and many others.

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