PPC Zim reports double digit volume growth

PPC Zim reports double digit volume growth
Published: 22 August 2017
Cement producer PPC Zimbabwe posted its highest monthly volumes during the first quarter ended June 30, 2017, its parent company PPC South Africa has reported.

"PPC Zimbabwe also saw double digit volume growth compared with last year, and in June 2017 recorded the highest monthly volumes since June 1999," said the group in its latest trading update.

"Pricing in US dollars is flat compared with the previous period. The country continues to experience liquidity constraints."

PPC Zimbabwe is under the group's ‘Rest of Africa' segment, which also saw its volumes register double digit growth compared to the prior period.

PPC South Africa said the rest of Africa segment's revenue and EBITDA are growing ahead of prior year.

In respect of the segment, the group said Rwanda "continues to deliver robust volume growth, with our capacity utilisation now reaching 60 percent.

In the DRC, monthly sales have tracked progressively better, with the group having "doubled our sales volumes in each successive month despite a muted trading environment."

However, imports from Angola have reduced significantly as competition from local producers has increased, it reported.

And although cement production in Ethiopia only started in June 2017, more than 100 000 tonnes of cement had been pre-sold since February 2017, due to high demand, said PPC.

"This is equivalent to annualised capacity utilisation of more than 60 percent. Cement prices in the market have remained stable."

Group revenue for the period under review was ahead year-on-year, while group EBITDA was in line with the year-ago period, a development management attributed to good cost management.

Said interm CEO Mr Johan Claassen:

"Our focus is firmly on delivering improved profitability and liquidity in the shorter term while our longer term strategy remains unchanged. More specifically, we will focus our management effort on the new operations in the DRC and Ethiopia, ensuring that they deliver to expectations, whilst further optimising efficiency in our other businesses.

"We are committed to unlocking long term sustainable shareholder value both through operational excellence and opportunities to achieve this through corporate action. To bolster the management team we have made key executive appointments and changes in Finance, SA Cement, Materials and Rest of Africa Cement".

Meanwhile, the group has appointed Mr Mokate Ramafoko as the MD for Rest of Africa segment.

Mr Ramafoko is a chemist by profession with over 23 years of experience in the cement manufacturing,quality assurance and cement process optimisation industries. He has held various leadership positions in PPC as well as in Holcim South Africa (now AfriSam).

"He has extensive knowledge in overseeing and managing complex, multi-million dollar operations where he has been instrumental in driving business growth.
"Most recently, Mokate was instrumental in driving and guiding the CIMERWA business in Rwanda to realise an improvement in its processes and ultimately driving operational efficiencies," said PPC.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration (Unisa), a BSc (UCT) and BSc (Hons)Metallurgy (UP).
- bh24
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