By Peter Egwuatu
LAFARGE Africa Plc has returned to profitability and has concluded plans to issue N25billion in Commercial Papers from a ¦ 60billion programme in October and list on the Financial Market Derivative Quote, FMDQ OTC Exchange platform.
The company made this known when it released its financial results for the third quarter ended September 2017.
Net proceeds of the Commercial Papers will support short-term working capital needs and will be listed on the FMDQ OTC Exchange. In addition, the already approved N131.65b Rights Issue will hold in November at ¦ 42.50 per share.
According to the result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the company posted a group Profit Before Tax, PBT of N1.083 billion for the third quarter, Q3 2017 as against a loss of N40.367 billion in the corresponding period of 2016.
Revenue also surged to N223.7 billion in Q3, 2017 from N161.04 billion in the corresponding period of 2016.
The result saw operating Earnings Before Interest Taxation, Depreciation and Amortisation, EBITDA up four-fold to N44.4billion within the nine-month period. While, sales increased by 39 per cent within the same period.
Michel Puchercos, CEO of Lafarge Africa said: “As part of our strategy to reduce foreign currency debt exposure, and improve financial flexibility, the shareholders and board of Lafarge Africa consented to the issuance of N131.65 Billion by way of Rights Issue at N42.50 per share. Five new shares will be issued for every nine shares held at the qualification date, which will be announced in the coming weeks. The Rights Issue is expected to open and close in November 2017.”
Commenting on the result Puchercos said: “Our Company continues to recover since we implemented the turnaround plan in September 2016 and has delivered a good performance even in a challenging market. As of September 2017, the cement demand in Nigeria was significantly lower than prior year. Nevertheless, operating EBITDA for our Nigeria operations was up 4.0 times at N41.7 billion and EBITDA margin stood at 30 per cent, thanks to stable pricing environment, steady industrial operations, fuel flexibility, execution of our commercial and logistics performance improvement plan.
“ We shipped the first batch of cement to the Ghana market, which was well accepted.”