Friday, September 18, 2020 / 11:02 AM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @nsenigeria
Lafarge Africa Plc expects a positive long-term corporate outlook for the cement and construction market in Nigeria, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sectors H1, 2020 performance.
The MD/CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Khaled El Dokani, said this at the virtual "Facts Behind the Figures" session on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).
He said the implementation of the Lafarge Africa "Health, Cash and Cost Initiative" will continue to deliver improvement in the company's performance.
The Lafarge Africa CEO said the company remained focused on emerging the leader of innovative building and solution construction in Nigeria, amidst the highly competitive environment.
In terms of strategy, El Dokani noted that the company was playing big in the area of sustainability, leveraging the circular economy, climate and energy, environment, people and community.
He said "Our route-to-market strategy has proven to be effective, particularly our expanded distribution network which proved very valuable during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. We have steadily expanded our retail footprint in our core markets. The recent re-launch of our Supaset brand has continued to gain traction with our customers, especially with the block makers".
In the area of the Q2, 2020 financials El Dokani highlighted the following;
-67.2% decline in net financial costs
-59.3% decline in net debt
-5.1% decline in Q2,2020 Revenue due to COVID 19 pandemic
- N23.3bn PAT ,47% increase
- N28.7bn PBT , 86.1% increase
Speaking on the H1, 2020 the CEO attributed the robust performance to the Nigerian operations, with the retail segment dominating over 90% of its activities.
Looking at its current financial position, he said Lafarge Africa was not in a hurry to access the market for capital raising as it was in a stable condition at the moment.
"We will continue to maintain a healthy balance sheet while prioritizing the health of our people, communities and other stakeholders," he said.
Giving the remarks on behalf of the CEO of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Divisional Head, Listing Business Mr. Olumide Bolumole commended Lafarge for its drive towards improved corporate governance and value creation for investors in the market.
On his part, the doyen of the dealing members in the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Alhaji Yusuf Rasheed, said the Nigerian investing public has supported Lafarge over the years, and the company has reciprocated the gesture by paying dividends.
He urged the management led by Mr. Khaled El-Dokani not to rest on their oars, but rework their strategy to retain the top position in the highly competitive cement market. The doyen called on Lafarge to maintain a close working relationship with the investment community.