Johannesburg - Cement producer PPC (PPC) says there was growth in its South African‚ Botswana and Zimbabwean cement volumes in the quarter ended December.
In SA this trend was experienced across all provinces with the exception of the Eastern Cape where heavy rains and imports affected demand‚ it added.
“The effect of this positive demand has been partly offset by some product sourcing challenges experienced over the period. These were primarily due to lower than planned production output at our Dwaalboom factory. This technical issue has been resolved and normal production has been restored‚” PPC said.
While the selling environment remains challenging‚ some increases in prices were achieved in SA and Zimbabwe.
During the first quarter of PPC’s 2013 financial year‚ the company took another significant step in its rest of Africa strategy with the announcement in December of the 51% acquisition of Cimerwa Limited of Rwanda for $69.4 million.
The receipt of the group’s Zimbabwean indigenisation certificate in November was also an important step for this strategy.
The company added it was currently pursuing additional opportunities and expected to make further announcements during the course of this year.
PPC added that volumes in the lime division declined due to reduced off-take from the local steel industry while aggregates volumes remained under pressure due to weak demand.
In SA‚ Botswana and Zimbabwe there remains limited visibility on major infrastructure projects‚ however the group’s outlook for cement demand in these three territories gives it reason to remain cautiously optimistic.
Excluding the IFRS 2 charges recorded on the Zimbabwe indigenisation programme and the implementation of the company’s second BEE transaction‚ earnings for the first half of 2013 were anticipated to reflect a year-on-year improvement‚ it concluded. - I-Net Bridge