Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading cement and building solutions provider, reports an operational Profit after Tax of N37 billion, which is 8% higher than prior year, after adjusting for one-offs. Operations of United Cement Company Ltd (UNICEM) were included on an equity basis in Q4. Cash of N49 billion was generated from the operations. The Board of Directors of Lafarge Africa at its meeting of March 11th 2015, approved a dividend of N3.60 representing a 9% increase over prior year subject to shareholders approval. Lafarge Africa Plc, formerly known as Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc, is a combination of all Lafarge’s Nigerian operations – (AshakaCem Plc, UNICEM, Atlas Cement Company Limited) and Lafarge South African Holdings Limited assets in order to create a stronger platform for growth in SubSaharan Africa, with value creating opportunities. The transaction was concluded in September 2014. On 7 November 2014, Nigerian Cement Holdings B.V. (NCH), a 50% affiliate of Lafarge Africa Plc, entered into an agreement with Flour Mills of Nigeria, defining a roadmap to purchase Flour Mills of Nigeria’s 30% investment in UNICEM (the 3rd largest cement manufacturer in Nigeria). We are pleased to announce that the first phase of the acquisition (15%) was completed recently. In accordance with Section 131(1)(a) of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007, Lafarge Africa is required to make a Tender Offer to all other shareholders of AshakaCem Plc. Consequently, the Board of Lafarge Africa granted approval for a Tender Offer to be made to all Qualifying Shareholders of AshakaCem Plc. The Mandatory Tender Offer was successful and is in the final stages of regulatory approval. In his statement, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye CON, OFR, said “it is with pleasure that we publish the first audited results of our newly transformed Company. The good performance even in a volatile market affirms the strength of our new Company and our commitment to achieving excellence”. Commenting on the results, the GMD/CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Guillaume Roux mentioned that ‘our Company has shown impressive performance; our business combination plans have been well executed within set timelines. We are committed to improving operational performance by leveraging on opportunities this presents to us to deliver sustainable returns to our shareholders’.
Other Key Highlights for the period
Consolidated Revenues were flat at N206 billion when compared to 2013. The Nigerian operations showed a growth of 8% cushioning the short term market challenges in South Africa.
EBITDA was relatively stable at N55.3 billion in 2014 compared to N55.7 billion in 2013, with Nigeria growing by 16%.
Profit After Tax grew by 8% when adjusting for one-offs in 2013 and the UNICEM scope change. Profit After Tax was N35 billion in 2014.
Lafarge Africa Plc has shown remarkable performance in the year and we remain highly committed to driving business excellence. We expect cement demand to increase both in Nigeria and South Africa in 2015. In Nigeria, the demand growth should be supported by increasing needs for housing and infrastructures, but could be lower than normal growth levels given the exchange rate development. This should be partly cushioned through the South African cash flow. We remain very optimistic and highly committed to delivering innovative building materials while leveraging on the operational strength and pedigree of the Lafarge Group.