Ashaka Cement Plc, on Wednesday, announced a turnover of N17.2 billion in the 2009 financial year. The company also declared a profit before tax of N2.4 billion profits.Chairman of the company, Emmanuel Ikwue said at the 35th yearly general meeting of the organisation in Abuja that the profit before tax went down from N3.4 billion to N2.4 billion in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Stressing that the cement industry suffered from the global meltdown, Ikwue however said the company has made substantial progress with its coal project,” which is expected to significantly reduce its expenditure on fuel oil, low pour fuel oil and in the long run, improve our profitability.”He added: “Expected gradual improvement worldwide and in the Nigerian economy gives us confidence that our financial performance will significantly improve in coming years.”
According to him, among other factors, the crisis in the Nigerian banking industry impacted on the cement market in Nigeria, especially in the second half of the year.As a result of the weaker demand with continuing massive cement importation last year, he pointed out that AshakaCem’s sales volume has been sliding since 2007 before picking up last year.
In the light of these, he called attention to the necessity to increase selling price from N24, 7000 per tonne to N26, 600 per tonne to mitigate the rather high fuel and power price increase experienced after the oil sector deregulation.Also speaking, the Managing Director of the company, Muhammad Daggash stressed that the economic crunch and government’s decision to scale down its capital projects had serious implications of the price of cement and the company’s profitability.