Cement group PPC grew earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 5-10 percent in the four months to July 30, the group said in an operational update Thursday. Waldo Swiegers Bloomberg
CAPE TOWN - Cement group PPC grew earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 5-10 percent in the four months to July 30, the group said in an operational update Thursday.

Driving the growth was continued selling price momentum in South Africa and the R70/ton cost savings initiative.

Once-off restructuring costs were incurred as a result of the initiative, which had detracted from the EBITDA performance.

The Southern Africa business continued to optimize its route to market strategy by focusing on its most profitable market segments, management said. 

In the Rest of Africa, the focus was on cash preservation and maximizing EBITDA per ton. 

The group said its balance sheet remained strong, with gross debt at similar levels to those reported for March 2019.

Average cement prices in Southern Africa increased by 7-8 percent. 

Aligned with the objective of focusing on EBITDA enhancing volume growth, cement sales fell by 10-15 percent compared to the same period last year, in line with slowing domestic demand. 

Importer and blender activity had also contributed to a competitive operating environment.

The share price gained 1.46 percent Thursday morning. - 

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