Displaying items by tag: Lafarge Zambia
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia’s export volumes of cement and clinker rose by 53% year-on-year in 2016. Domestic sales volumes fell by 42%, its sales revenue fell by 43% to US$93,000 and its profit before tax dropped significantly to US$13,000. The cement producer added that power supply issues had adversely impacted production costs at its Chilanga and Ndola plants. The company is positive in its outlook for 2017 and it is supplying building materials to large infrastructure projects including the Kafue Gorge Lower and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia and Zambia Railways have signed a transport agreement to improve the delivery of production inputs for cement production and to distribute clinker and cement products locally and to neighbouring countries. The deal is intended to complement other modes of transport, reduce reliance on roads and promote sustainability. The agreement will run for three years and is subject to renewal.
“We continue to have a high fleet of trucks on our roads responsible for both inbound and outbound logistics, in excess of 500 trucks. The pressure exerted on the roads continues to be high as a result of this activity. Therefore, this partnership will relieve some pressure off our roads as it complements other modes of transportation currently in use today and we also anticipate to reduce the safety risk on the road,” said Chrissie Moloseni, Chief Financial Officer of Lafarge Zambia at the signing ceremony on 8 July 2016.
Christopher Musonda, the Chief Executive Officer of Zambia Railways, added that the company has devised a new transport model to improve efficiency. The Wagon Monitoring and Control System (WAMCO) is designed in a way that will enable customers to have dedicated wagons for all movements, thereby improving efficiency levels.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia’s revenue has fallen by 6% year-on-year to US$250m in 2015 from US$267m in 2014. Its profit fell by 24% to US$62m from US$82m. The subsidiary of LafareHolcim blamed the results on challenging markets, power costs increase and steep currency depreciation.
“Despite new competition and challenging markets, Lafarge Zambia maintained its market leadership in 2015 both in Zambia and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a marginal reduction versus our record 2014 volume numbers. The second half of 2015 saw a combination of negative factors both in terms of market and in terms of production costs,” said Lafarge Zambia CEO Emmanuel Rigaux.
In 2016 the cement producer expects the market to be challenging for both price and volume. It intends to focus on exports markets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. A partnership with the rail authorities including Zambia Railways Limited is also expected to further aid exports.
Democratic Republic of Congo/Zambia: Lafarge Zambia and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) have collaborated to increase cement exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A policy directive is being followed by the government in order to increase exports and help stabilise the local currency. Lafarge will begin to export 400t/week of cement to the DRC in 2016 and will multiply its exports to Malawi and the DRC by a factor of four. Lafarge has become the biggest user of rail in the country and the first cement producer to be fully-associated.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia's post-tax profit grew by 4% year-on-year to US$36,017 in the first half of 2015 despite economic challenges in Zambia and political uncertainties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which constitutes the company's major export market. Lafarge Zambia recently merged with Holcim Construction Group, which reported a 14% increase in turnover to US$134,577 in the first half of 2015.
Lafarge Zambia said that electricity supply disruptions adversely impacted cement production in 2015. Company chief executive officer Emmanuel Rigaux said that domestic demand in the second half of 2015 is expected to continue to slow down until Eurobond proceeds are directed towards infrastructure and construction activity.
"Strong focus in the second half of 2015 will be placed on adjusting our cost base wherever necessary. Market activity was subdued in the first half of the year in the Zambian market and was negatively impacted by political uncertainties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which constitutes our major export market. The successful issuance of the US$1.25bn by the Zambian government is expected to generate increased construction activity," said Rigaux.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia will begin work on the US$217m expansion of its cement plant in Lusaka in 2015 despite the recent opening of Dangote's cement plant in the country and slow regional economic growth.
Construction will start in the second half of 2015 and be completed in 2018, according to Emmanuel Rigaux, chief executive of the plant. The work will double Lafarge's cement production capacity to 2Mt/yr.
Lafarge's expansion and Dangote's new plant are not expected to cause a cement glut in Zambia, mainly because of demand from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. "The growth there is massive, in fact it's even higher than in Zambia," said Rigaux.
Chinese and Zambian officials also appear to be planning the construction of a cement plant in Zambia: Find story here.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia is considering laying off some 30% of its workforce of 670 employees, according to a memo circulated by a group of unionised workers. The company, which owns cement plants in Ndola and Lusaka, has allegedly not yet paid its unionised workers a promised salary increase, according to local reports. Instead of increasing these wages, Lafarge Zambia's CEO Emmanuel Rigaux announced the layoffs.
"We are appealing to the government to intervene on our behalf so that we are paid our salary increment and also to find out why they are pruning staff," said employees of Lafarge Zambia. The workers also allege mistreatment by management and say that Lafarge sold most of its shares to Holcim because it is 'scared' of competing with Dangote.
"The CEO takes advantage of the greediness and selfishness of our own Zambian managers to exploit us," said the employees. "Most Zambian managers are destroying their fellow citizens by protecting the greediness of these foreign investors. The management make billions but they treat the employees poorly."
According to a sales report from Lafarge dated 12 August 2014, Rigaux said, "The recent trend in our costs though is not favourable, partly as a result of negative currency impact. We must take action to contain our costs and ensure the sustainability of our business, including the review of our headcount. As we are entering the active phase of our capacity expansion projects both in Ndola and Chilanga and new competition is emerging, we must be fully mobilised to better serve our customers and maintain our undisputed leadership, including our cost leadership."
Zambia: Lafarge Cement Zambia plans to double its cement production capacity from its two local plants to meet the growing demand, according to CEO Emmanuel Rigaux. In 2013, the domestic market for cement grew by 17%, largely driven by the continued increase in government infrastructure projects, mining expansion activities and to a smaller extent by individual home building projects.
"Lafarge Zambia is planning to double its capacity in Ndola and Chilanga through debottlenecking and construction of a new line," said Rigaux. "This will enable us to remain the market leader and preferred supplier of construction solutions in Zambia." Rigaux said that in 2013 production volumes improved by 105,000t to 1.18Mt from 1.07Mt in 2012, representing 9% growth. Volumes are expected to continue to improve on the back of strong growth in the construction industry in both domestic and export markets. Rigaux said that domestic sales volumes grew by 18% in 2013, while export sales volumes declined by 25% due to increased focus on the domestic market.
"The second half of 2013 saw a sharp improvement in operational and industrial results both at both our Ndola and Chilanga plants," said Rigaux. "Lafarge Zambia also implemented targeted cost reductions and logistical optimisations, which enabled us to improve our operating margins." Rigaux said that Lafarge Cement Zambia's financial position and cash flow remained solid with strong cash position and no external debt.