South Africa: PCC recorded sales of US$332m in the first half of its 2021 financial year, up by 1% from US$328m in the first half of its 2020 financial year. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 15% to US$66m from US$58m. Cement volumes fell in South Africa by 5% and in Botswana by 10% due to 35% slump in total volumes in the first quarter. The company said that this was due to muted cement sales in April 2020 and May 2020 as a result of Covid-19-related trading restrictions in South Africa. Cement sales have since recovered with strong year-on-year growth since June 2020. The increase in volumes is primarily retail led. PPC also said that it is beginning to experience the positive impact of increased infrastructure spending.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Roland van Wijnen said, “I am pleased that we are once again able to serve our customers and play our part in keeping the economy going. My gratitude goes to my colleagues who have been working diligently to keep our operations running while observing stringent health and safety protocols. Our business has benefited from a strong recovery in cement sales in all our markets, post the easing of the lockdown restrictions, and this has resulted in improved financial performance for the group. Our efforts to improve cost competitiveness and reposition PPC on a sound financial footing are yielding encouraging results and we are making good progress on our capital restructuring project, which remains a key priority for the group.”