Displaying items by tag: PPC
Kenya: ARM Cement has appointed John Ngumi, Pepe Meijer and Ketso Gordhan as non-executive directors of the company. They replace Atul Mathur, Michael Turner and Daniel Ndonye, who have resigned as directors following an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders held on 26 August 2016.
John Ngumi holds a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, UK. He started his banking career at National Westminster Bank, London and has since worked variously for Grindlays Bank, Barclays Bank, Citibank and CfC Stanbic Bank/Standard Bank of South Africa. In between he also co-founded one of Africa's first indigenous investment banking groups, Loita Capital Partners. Ngumi left CfC Stanbic Bank in 2015 upon his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta as non executive chair of the Board of Directors, Kenya Pipeline Company Limited.
Pepe Meijer is a Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Advisor and former Managing director for PPC International up-to November 2015. During his PPC tenure Meijer also held various Executive, General, Senior and Middle management positions across PPC’s cement operations that spanned over 28 years. Prior to joining PPC, he worked in the gold mining industry as section engineer and in the fishing/processing /frozen-food industry as group projects manager.
Ketso Gordhan joined CDC in April 2016 as the Head of Africa. He previously spent several years as Chief Executive Officer of PPC Cement, South Africa’s largest cement company. At PPC, Gordhan led the expansion of the company into sub-Saharan Africa, helping build the footprint outside South Africa into Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Before PPC, Gordhan spent almost 10 years leading RMB’s private equity business. He has also held a number of public sector roles, including City Manager of Johannesburg and Director General of the Ministry of Transport, where he led major infrastructure projects, such as the South Africa’s N4 Toll Road.
Africa/South Africa: Despite a decline in the construction sector, cement giant Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) continues to defy the odds as it posted a 9% uptick in quarterly sales revenue. The cement producer said sales revenue in South Africa has seen an upswing of 2% with volumes increasing by at least 9%, although earnings per share disappointed as it fell by 55% for the period. However, revenue from outside of South Africa rose by 19% on the back of significant volume growth and newly commissioned plants in Rwanda as well as gains from the currency translations in Zimbabwe and Botswana. "The group's revenue has improved by 6% supported by strong cement sales volume growth in South Africa and Rwanda. Cement sales volumes grew in excess of 30% in the Coastal regions in South Africa," CEO Daryll Castle said.
"However, good cost control has led to further impressive declines in group overheads while variable delivered cost of sales per tonne in the South African cement business were well below inflation," Castle said. In addition, the cement maker said its cost of sales was also on the rise, increasing by 14% to R1.8bn (US$99m), largely on the back of higher volumes in the South African cement industry as well as more expensive logistics which rose by 3% during the period. "On consolidation of foreign currency denominated subsidiaries, the weakness of the rand contributed to rising cost of sales. Gross profit decreased by 11%, from R709m (US$50m) for the quarter ended June 2015 to R630m (US$44.4m) for the current quarter. "This decrease was mainly ascribed to the impact of selling prices pressures felt in our key cement operating markets together with the lower sales volumes in Zimbabwe and Botswana," the company said. But, the company said the R135m (US$9.5m)acquisition of 3Q Mahuma Concrete, one of the largest independently owned ready-mix concrete supplier in South Africa, will improve PPC's ready-mix footprint.
Shock news this week: Dangote Cement has decided to slow its expansion in Africa. The announcement from CEO Onne van der Weijde topped a half-year financial report that trumpeted high revenues and sales volumes of cement but one that also had to explain why earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) had fallen by 10% year-on-year. The decline was blamed on lower cement prices and higher fuel costs, as well as the costs of setting up new cement plants.
The mixed bag of results can be demonstrated by a 38.8% leap in cement sales volumes in Nigeria to 8.77Mt for the half year. Dangote attributed this in part to price cut in September 2015. This then netted an increase in revenue of 4.2% to US$677m but its EBITDA in Nigeria fell at a faster rate than the group total.
As an indication of some the pressures facing Dangote at home, it reported that its fuels costs rose by 32.3% to US$14.4/t in the reporting period. The backdrop to this has been the general poor state of the Nigerian economy. The International Monetary Forum (IMF) forecast that its gross domestic product (GDP) will fall by 1.8% in 2016 in its World Economic Outlook Update published in mid-July. Given that over three-quarters of Dangote Cement’s sales revenue came from Nigeria in 2015 this might explain the decision to slow its expansion plans down.
Outside of Nigeria, Dangote did extremely well in its West & Central Africa region, pushing up sales volumes, revenue and EBITDA by triple figure percentages helped by commissioning of a new plant in Ethiopia. Exports were also highlighted as a key part of this region’s strategy to neighbouring countries. It also stated that its recent procurement of about 1000 trucks in Ghana would ensure that an increased share of that country’s imported cement would come from Dangote’s Ibese plant in Nigeria. South & East Africa was a different story, however with sales volumes and revenues rising as new cement plants bedded in but the region was dogged by currency devaluations and poor economies.
Dangote Cement’s response to its current situation is to protect its margins through cost cutting, by adjusting its prices and by slowing its expansion strategy to a five-year programme. However, it isn’t alone in its struggles to preserve profit in its Nigerian business. LafargeHolcim also reported a ‘challenging’ market in its first quarter results for 2016. Its cement sales volumes fell in that quarter due to what it said were energy shortages and logistics-related issues. Its mid-year financial report, out on 5 August 2016, will make interesting reading to see if its experience in Nigeria matches Dangote’s.
Elsewhere, it appears that both PPC and LafargeHolcim have also been struggling in South Africa. PPC’s revenue from cement sales within the country fell by 5% year-on-year to US$171m its half-year to the end of March 2016. It blamed the drop on increased competition. LafargeHolcim noted similar problems in South Africa without going into too much detail in its first quarter.
With the Nigeria Naira-US Dollar exchange rate devalued by over 50% since the start of 2016 and the Nigerian economy bracing itself for a recession, it seems unlikely that Dangote Cement could do anything else than slow down its expansion plans given how much of its revenue comes from within Nigeria. As we also report this week, PPC is in a similar bind. Its CEO had to reassure shareholders that the group’s new plant in Zimbabwe would be finished on schedule later in the year. Controlling imports and exports of cement in Africa has suddenly become more important than ever.
Both companies need to expand internationally to protect themselves from regional economic downturns but the current situation in each of their home territories is preventing this. In the meantime their own export markets are set to become more important than ever. Any target markets that declare themselves ‘self-sufficient’ in cement will be a big impediment to this.
Zimbabwe: Darryll Castle, the CEO of PPC, has reassured shareholders that the construction of the group’s 0.7Mt/yr cement plant in Zimbabwe remains on schedule for completion in 2016. Castle said that the project makes sense from a cost-optimisation basis even if the volume isn’t required in the country. He made the comments at PPC’s extraordinary general meeting amid reports of rioting in the country and import restrictions on some South African goods, according to the Business Day newspaper. The project is one of four cement plants the cement producer is building in Africa outside of South Africa.
South Africa: PPC’s revenue has fallen slightly, by 1% year-on-year, to US$293m in the first six months that ended on 31 March 2016 from US$296m in the same period in 2015. The group’s operating profit fell by 3% to US$47.7m from US$49.2m. It attributed the fall in revenue to lower selling prices of cement in South Africa and falling revenues in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
By business line, PPC’s cement division in South Africa reported that its revenue fell by 5% to US$155m. It noted that cement volumes improved ‘marginally’ due to sales volume growth in the coastal regions following reduced imports and demand from infrastructure projects. However, inland provinces such as a Gauteng and the Limpopo area were negatively affected to increased competition. Outside of South Africa its cement division’s revenue rose by 6% to US$85.5m. Despite sales declines in Zimbabwe and Botswana, the group’s new 0.6Mt/yr plant in Rwanda was commissioned in the second half of 2015.
The group’s lime division also reported that its revenue in all territories fell by 12% to US$24.9m.
The group also provided an update on its on-going projects. A US$280m 1Mt/yr cement plant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was reported 83% complete in March 2016 with ‘hot’ commissioning scheduled for late 2016. A US$85m cement mill in Harare, Zimbabwe was reported 70% complete in March 2016 with plant commissioned planned for the end of 2016. Finally, a US$170m 1.4Mt/yr cement plant in Ethiopia remains scheduled to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2017.
Zimbabwe: Construction of the 0.7Mt/yr PPC Ruwa Plant in Msasa has been reported as more than half complete. PPC sources told the Financial Gazette that civil and structural construction of the cement plant is now more than 50% complete. The US$80m plant is expected to be running by the end of 2016.
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.