Displaying items by tag: PPC
South Africa: PPC has appointed Peter Nelson as its interim chairman following the retirement of Bheki Sibiya. A permanent replacement for Sibiya is expected to be recruited by September 2016.
Nelson was appointed to the Board as an independent non-executive director on 25 January 2015. His experience covers manufacturing, mining, telecommunications, healthcare, leisure, property, packaging and the motor industry in listed and private entities in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. He has served as chief financial officer on several Boards including Telkom, Netcare and Mondi.
Rwanda: PPC says its 600,000t/yr Cimerwa cement plant in Bugarama, Rusizi will reach full production by mid-2018. The greenfield plant is part of its strategy to make 40% of its turnover from outside of South Africa by 2018, according to Business Daily. At present the plant is running at about 60% of its production capacity.
Cimerwa sales volumes have exceeded 100,000t from commissioning to February 2016. Further sales, marketing, and distribution efforts are expected to improve this. The plant sells cement domestically in Kigali and it exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
PPC is growing cement production capacity in Africa with plants being built in the DRC, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Capacity is expected to reach 12.7Mt/yr in 2018 from 8.6Mt/yr in 2015.
Zimbabwe: Kelibone Masiyane has been appointed as the managing director of PPC Zimbabwe. He replaces Njombo Lekula, who recently became the managing director of PPC's international operations. Previous to the appointment, Masiyane’s was the general manager of the Colleen Bawn and the Bulawayo cement plants.
"Kelibone's promotion will see him assume overall responsibility for PPC Zimbabwe's business, with his key focus our Harare factory," said Lekula. Other recent promotions include those of Iain Sheasby and Karen Mhazo to the roles of Commercial Director and General Manager of Finance respectively, and that of current Group Human Resources Manager designate Trust Mabaya in March 2016.
South Africa: Bheki Lindinkosi Sibiya retired as Chairman of the Board of PPC on 25 January 2016 following the company's annual general meeting. He held the post since 2008. No successor has yet been announced.
PPC acknowledged that Sibiya had overseen the successful conversion of the company's mining rights and the initiation of its African expansion strategy during his tenure. It also mentioned his role in ensuring board continuity and preservation of corporate expertise during a 'challenging phase' in the company's history.
Other retirements announced include Mangalani Peter Malungani, who has served as Non-Executive Director of PPC since February 2009, and Zibusiso Kganyago, who has been a member of the board since October 2007.
Salukazi Dakile-Hlongwane has been elected as a Non-Executive Director of the Board. Dakile-Hlongwane is currently the Chairperson and co-founder of Nozala Investments Pty Limited. Her career includes posts at Lesotho National Development Corporation, African Development Bank (Abidjan-Cote d'Ivoire), the Development Bank of Southern Africa, FirstCorp Merchant Bank and BOE Specialised Finance. She holds a Bachelor's degree in economics and statistics from the National University of Lesotho and a Master's degree in development economics from Williams College in Massachusetts, USA.
South Africa: PPC has reported that its cement sales fell by 3% for its first trading that ran from October to December 2015. Cement sales in its South African business declined by 1.6% while its international businesses recorded an 8% decline, according to a trading update.
The South African cement producer reported that coastal regions in South Africa achieved positive volume growth. However this was offset by declines recorded in Gauteng and inland regions. During this period, average selling prices fell by 4%.
In Zimbabwe the completion of major infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe has led to declines of over 10% in local sales. Cement exports have also reduced due to exchange rate effects. In Botswana cement sales fell due to competition and weak demand. In Rwanda sales fell due to high rainfall and limited exports. However, the company's new 0.6Mt/yr cement plant was reported to be performing 'satisfactorily' and the kiln has passed its performance test for output and heat consumption.
Rwanda: PPC has commissioned its 600,000t/yr cement plant in Rwanda to offset declining sales in South Africa as its expansion into African cement markets gathers pace. The company plans to derive 40% of its revenues from the rest of Africa by 2017.
"We see the population doubling and becoming wealthier, a lot of infrastructure spend taking place and new cities being built that aren't there today," said Darryll Castle, PPC's Chief Executive. "If we can maintain our market share and exposure in Africa, we have to double the size of the business in well under 10 years. We see Africa as a very positive environment and PPC becoming a major player in a big growth area."
Castle said that the company ultimately saw PPC as a global player, but were focusing on Africa first, although it would be open to global opportunities when they arose. The new vision is for PPC to become a world-class supplier of materials and solutions to the basic services sector and establish a vertically-integrated materials business. This business unit will house PPC's ready-mix, aggregates and related building materials businesses to offer clients end-to-end solutions. A bolt-on acquisition has been earmarked for early 2016. Castle stressed that 70 – 80% of PPC's focus would remain on its core product of cement, but over time it would gain earnings and revenue that was not currently core to its business.
According to Castle, construction of the US$280m, 1Mt/yr cement plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the US$85m, 700,000t/yr mill in Harare were progressing well, with both on track for commissioning at the end of 2016. He said that the 1.4Mt/yr cement plant in Ethiopia would cost around US$170m, with commissioning scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.
South Africa: PPC has reported a 3% fall in cement revenue to US$526m in the first nine months of 2015, although group revenue grew by 2% year-on-year to US$645m. The decline in the cement business was blamed on increased competition.
"The Mpumalanga area was the hardest hit, with double-digit volume declines. The north-west region, although also under pressure, showed some resilience," said PPC in a statement.
Company CEO Darryll Castle said that improved performance from the company's operations in Zimbabwe and Botswana had offset the declines experienced in the core South African cement business. He said that projects in Africa would ensure that shareholders had a 'diversified portfolio of businesses in different geographies.'
South Africa: Cement producer PPC has been named as the new naming sponsor for the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, Western Province. "We want to cement this relationship," said PPC chief executive Darryll Castle on 6 October 2015 at the stadium.
Although an obvious play on words, Castle could not contain his excitement as it was made official that the ground will now be known as 'PPC Newlands.' "We're exceptionally proud to be creating a new moment in history for these two champion brands and are looking forward to adding real value to the sport, the community and, ultimately, the country through this new legacy partnership with the Western Province Cricket Association," he added.
The first international action at the PPC Newlands stadium will see South Africa take on England in the New Year's Test against England in January 2016.
South Africa: PPC has reported flat or falling cement prices in all regions alongside tougher competition in Zimbabwe, Botswana and its home market.
"We believe that we are at or near the bottom of the cycle," said the company in a presentation on its website. "However, increasing competitive forces in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana weigh on the near-term outlook."
PPC's cement volumes in South Africa were flat in the 11 months that ended in August 2015. Its volumes increased in Botswana and Rwanda, but declined in Zimbabawe. PPC introduced a promotional price in Rwanda after opening a new 600,000t/yr plant there on 18 August 2015. While cement imports into South Africa from Pakistan declined after new duties were imposed in May 2015, increased local competition weighed on domestic prices, according to PPC. The company's expansion into other African countries 'remains on track.' Facilities under construction in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia are all about 45% complete.
In early 2014 the top of the global cement producer charts looked very different to how it does today. The big four multinationals, Lafarge, Holcim, HeidelbergCement and Cemex, were clearly out in front and ahead of the rest of the global top 10. While there was discrepancy in their sizes, the largest, Lafarge (224Mt/yr) had just over twice the cement capacity of fourth-placed Cemex (95Mt/yr), with Holcim (218Mt/yr) and HeidelbergCement (122Mt/yr) between these extremes.1 With an impressive 659Mt/yr of capacity between them, these four accounted for just shy of half of global cement capacity outside of China.
However, as those with even a passing interest in the cement sector will know, this is no longer the case. The merger between Lafarge and Holcim and the subsequent acquisition of Italcementi by HeidelbergCement has stretched out the range of the top producers significantly. Today LafargeHolcim has around 340Mt/yr of installed capacity and HeidelbergCement 200Mt/yr. Meanwhile Cemex is still 'stuck in the 90s,' with a capacity of around 92Mt/yr following the sale of its Croatian cement assets last week. The Mexican 'giant' is now almost a quarter of the size of LafargeHolcim. What does this mean for the world's number three (excluding Chinese producers) and what might the future hold?
Well... the old adage goes that you have to move forward to stand still. However, Cemex has not moved forward over the past two years, meaning that is hasn't kept up the pace with its immediate rivals. It hasn't been able to, hemmed in by the debt that it took on from its poorly-timed acquisition of Rinker in 2007. Indeed, Cemex is looking to contract further, with aims to shed a further Euro600 - 1100m of non-core assets in 2015.2 Against improved positions at LafargeHolcim and HeidelbergCement, Cemex increasingly looks like an 'Americas specialist' rather than a full-blown multinational. A stake in Cemex LatAm Holdings is up for sale, but the sale of more cement plants may also be on the way. This is all being done to improve Cemex's investment grade rating from B-plus, four grades below investment grade.
If Cemex does have to shed further physical assets on the ground, it is very unlikely that it would chose to do so in the Americas, where it is a very major player. It is number one in Mexico, third in the US and well-postitioned in numerous growth markets in Central America. If push comes to shove, it is far more likely that it would sell assets that are further from home. These are in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
Cemex has 43% of its production capacity outside the Americas. Certain assets, such as those in Thailand, Bangladesh and the Philippines, may be appealing to CRH, which is already set to acquire LafargeHolcim divestments there and is known to be considering other purchases in the region.3 Cemex also owns several cement plants in better-performing EU economies like Germany and the UK. In Germany, the company has already completed a small downsizing exercise by selling its Kollenbach plant to Holcim (LafargeHolcim). Meanwhile, Cemex UK is a major player in the UK, where the Competition Commission has recently been very keen to increase the number of producers. Elsewhere, Cemex's share in Assuit Cement in Egypt could provide much needed revenue, as could its small stake in the Emirati markets.
Thinking more radically, and in keeping with the current trend of mega-mergers and large-scale acquisitions, could Cemex find itself the target of the next global cement mega-merger / acquisition? Certainly, its strength in Central and South America completely complements HeidelbergCement's lack of coverage here, making a future 'HeidelbergCemex' a potential winner.
The other option, if/when Cemex regains its investment rating, would be for Cemex to acquire or merge with a company further down the list of global cement produers. Africa is an obvious target, with rapid growth and a lack of Cemex assets at present. A foreigner buying up Dangote is probably out of the question, but PPC would be an interesting target, as would increasingly isolated Brazilian producers that could help shore up Cemex's South American position.
If the past 18 months in the global cement industry have shown anything, it is that we should expect the unexpected. It will be very interesting to see how all players, both large and small, will react to the recent goings on in the rest of 2015 and beyond.
1. 1. Saunders A.; 'Top 75 Cement Producers,' in Global Cement Magazine – December 2013. Epsom, UK, December 2013.
1. 2. Reuters website, 'Mexico's Cemex could sell part of business to pay down debt: CEO,' 10 February 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/11/us-mexico-cemex-idUSKBN0LF05320150211.
1. 3. Global Cement website, 'CRH investment spend set to pass Euro7bn with South Korea cement deal,' 12 June 2015, http://www.globalcement.com/news/item/3721-crh-investment-spend-set-to-pass-euro7bn-with-south-korea-cement-deal.