Cement manufacturers, Dangote Cement Plc, has announced over 100 per cent rise in the sale of the locally produced product in the second quarter of the year as against the sales recorded in the first quarter, indicating a sharp reduction in the importation of the commodity.
In its half year unaudited result released at the weekend, the company said its pre-tax profit, between January and June 2012 is N71.4 billion, 22.8 per cent increase over and above the figure for the corresponding period last year while its revenue earnings grew by 26 per cent to N142 billion.
Specifically, the company said cement sales went up by 26 per cent to 5.2 million tonnes with importation accounting for only one million tonnes out of the sales figure attributing this to strong growth in revenue and profit as local production doubles and new capacity ramps up to end imports
Dangote Cement Plc Chief Executive, Devakumar Edwin, said: "Our investments at Ibese and Obajana have helped Dangote Cement double shipments of locally produced cement that will help Nigeria towards self-sufficiency. The ramp-up of our new capacity is progressing steadily and we are increasing our distribution network to extend our reach in the market.
"The Group was again affected by the gas supply problems that have hit the whole of Nigeria, but we are optimistic that improvements in the gas infrastructure will allow us to return to more normal operations at our gas-fuelled plants at Ibese and Obajana and have already seen a marked increase in supply over the past weeks."
In its operating highlights, Dangote Cement identified part of its key drivers for the result as a marketing drive embarked upon which has led to the recruitment of 1,000 new distributors. It also lamented that gas supply issues continued in second quarter, but with improvements already taking effect.
Dangote Cement is Nigeria's leading cement producer with three plants in Nigeria and plans to expand in 13 other African countries. The group is a fully integrated quarry-to-depot producer with an expected production capacity of 20mtpa in Nigeria by the end of 2012, increasing to 35.25mtpa in 2015. It also plans to build a further 19mtpa of production and import capacity across Africa by 2015.
Dangote Cement's Obajana plant in Kogi, Nigeria, is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa with 10.25tpa capacity across three lines and a further 3mtpa capacity planned by 2015. The Gboko plant in Benue state has 3mtpa capacity with an upgrade to 4mtpa expected by the end of the year.
The new 6mtpa Ibese plant in Ogun, near the key market of Lagos, was inaugurated in February 2012. An additional 6mtpa of capacity is planned for completion by 2015. The Group has recently signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a 6mt plant in Calabar by 2015.
Through its recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria's dependence on imported cement and will soon transform the nation into a net exporter serving other African states.
Dangote Cement has announced an investment of more than $2.5bn to build manufacturing plants and import terminals across Africa. Current plans are for eight cement plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, as well as import/packing facilities in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.