Dangote Cement Intensifies Efforts to Meet Strong Market Demand
By Dipo Olowookere
The strong market demand for cement in Nigeria as a result of significant investments in real estate by private investors and the government’s efforts to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the country has pushed Dangote Cement to increase the supply of cement.
According to the firm, it has now ramped up production at its newest plant in Okpella Edo State to ensure a timely supply of products to customers in the South-South and Southeast geopolitical regions.
Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa, with Nigeria accounting for 35.25Mta.
Its factory in Obajana, Kogi State is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines; followed by the Ibese plant in Ogun State with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta across four cement lines. The Gboko plant in Benue State has 4Mta, while the Okpella plant has 3Mta.
The decision of the management to increase its investments to stop the dependence of Nigeria on imported cement has yielded results as reflected in the first-quarter results of the firm.
According to the financial statements for the period ended March 31, 2022, Dangote Cement sold a total volume of 7.2Mt of cement across the group with the Nigerian operations accounting for 4.8Mt and the rest of Africa contributing 2.4Mt.
This supported the increase in the group’s EBITDA, which rose by 18.6 per cent to N211.0 billion, while the EBITDA margin improved by 51.1 per cent, with the profit after tax expanding by 18 per cent to N105.9 billion and the earnings per share (EPS) increasing by 16.8 per cent to N6.18.
The chief executive of Dangote Cement, Mr Michel Puchercos, described the performance of the firm as impressive, especially when the uncertainties brought by a very volatile global environment are put into consideration.
He said, “The volatile international context is strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels and execution of our export-to-import strategy. Reducing our dependence on imported inputs and making our markets self-sufficient has never been more relevant from a regional perspective.
“Our continuous focus on efficiency, meeting strong market demand and maintaining our costs leadership drives our ability to consistently deliver superior profitability and value to all shareholders.”
Speaking further, he disclosed that “On the operational side, we are ramping up production at our Okpella plant and are progressing well to deploy grinding plants in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
“Demand remained strong across all markets, and we remain confident that Dangote Cement is positioned to meet customers’ expectations despite these temporary challenges.”
“Continuing our efforts to deliver shareholder value, Dangote Cement completed the second tranche of its buyback programme.
“Following the completion of both tranches, Dangote Cement has now bought back 0.98 per cent of its shares outstanding. This share buy-back programme reflects the Company’s commitment in finding opportunities beyond dividends to return cash to shareholders,” Mr Puchercos added.