Dangote Cement, Africa's largest cement producer, has announced a 12.6 percent increase in sales volume across Africa, in its unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, 2017.
In the financials released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the increase in sales volume showed a growing capture of the Pan-African market as Dangote Cement continues to gain grounds.
Revenues from operations in Nigeria increased by 34.5 per cent to ₦291.4 billion, while Pan-Africa revenue increased by 63.7 per cent to ₦124.4billion from ₦76 billion mainly as a result of increased volumes and foreign exchange gains when converting the sales from country local currency into Naira.
Analysis of the half year (H1) result revealed that sales volumes of African operations rose to 4.7 million metric tonnes (MMT) with Sierra Leone making a 53,000 tonnes maiden contribution.
Record of sales from its operations scattered around the African continent revealed that a total of 1.1millionMT cement was sold in Ethiopia, almost 0.7 million metric tons sold in Senegal, 0.6MMT in Cameroon, and 0.5MMT in Ghana.
Also, 0.4MMT of cement was sold in Tanzania, and 0.3MMT in Zambia. However, sales from Nigerian operations fell from 8.8MMT to 6.9MMT, occasioned by the rains, which stalled many construction projects.
Reflecting on the half year results, Dangote Cement's Chief Executive Officer, Onne van der Weijde, expressed satisfaction that the company's revenues have continued to grow despite low sales from the Nigerian operations, noting that the revenues grew on the strength of sales from other African operations.
"Our revenues have continued to grow despite the lower volumes seen in Nigeria, especially because of the recent heavy rains. Our margins have improved significantly, helped by improved efficiencies and a much better fuel mix in Nigeria.
"We are using much more gas and increasing our use of coal mined in Nigeria, thus reducing our need for foreign currency and supporting Nigerian jobs.
"Our Pan-African operations are growing well and increasing market share. We saw our the first sales from Sierra Leone in the first quarter and our new plant in the Republic of Congo will be in production at the end of July, further increasing our footprint across Africa and strengthening our position as its leading manufacturer of cement."
The Company reports that it estimated that Nigeria's total market for cement was 10.2 MMT, 23.2 per cent lower than the estimated 13.3 MMT sold in H1 2016. Of the total market sales in H1 2017, just 0.1 MMT was imported.
"As a result of the slower market, our Nigeria operation sold nearly 6.9MMT of cement, down 21.8 per cent on the 8.8MMT sold in H1 2016. We estimate our market share to have been about 64.5 per cent H1 2017.
Dangote Cement is a high-growth, low-debt, internationally diversified company that has just paid a dividend amounting to nearly 75 per cent of 2016 net profits to shareholders.
"The recent publication of our credit ratings highlights the financial strength we have achieved through our unwavering focus on the profitable expansion of the business, underpinned by our belief that we must remain prudent in our financial management," Weijde stated.