Lafarge Africa’s net profit for the three months to March expanded almost twice as much as its bottom-line one year prior, and the cement maker is anchoring optimism for a similarly strong scorecard this quarter on sustaining a “good demand momentum” and cost control.
The firm increased revenue by more than one-fourth to N90.6 billion, with its cement division to thank for the leap after accounting for 97.1 per cent of gross sales, its unaudited report showed on Friday.
Khaled El Dokani, its chief executive, said in a separate document “coming after our very strong FY 2021 results, our Q1 2022 performance confirms the continued growth trajectory of our business.”
Pre-tax profit for the period under review rose to N21.5 billion from N12.8 billion, while profit after tax accelerated 92.2 per cent.
FBNQuest said this February in a forecast a volume growth of 10 per cent for the cement industry in 2022 to be stoked by demand for roads and real estate.
By the merchant bank’s estimate, pre-election capital spending by the Federal Government is bound to force growth for Lafarge Africa and its much bigger rival Dangote Cement, with capex for 2021 seen accelerating by 61 per cent to N6 trillion on an annualised basis from the first 11 months of last year, not mentioning similar projects by lower levels of government.
Profit margin stood at 19.4 per cent, suggesting the company realised a profit of N19.4 per cent on every N100 spent during the quarter.
Swiss-based Holcim Limited, the world’s largest cement company, holds an 83.8 per cent interest in Lafarge Africa, which now operates only in Nigeria, having offloaded its South African asset roughly two years ago.
Shares in Lafarge Africa were quoted at N25.55 per unit in Lagos at 11.55 WAT on Friday, trading up 2.3 per cent.
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