South Africa: PPC estimates that cement demand improved in South Africa during the first half of 2017 following a poor first quarter to the calendar year. It has also predicted that production capacity utilisation rates for the industry as a whole are growing and that they could reach full capacity in 2020. On an adjusted like-for-like basis its cement sales volumes grew by 0.5% year-on-year in the most recent quarter due to good performance in its Coastal and Inland areas. However, imports have continued to decline, by 27%. Outside of South Africa the company has overseen growth particularly in Rwanda, and, in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Ethiopia as well. The company made the announcement as part of an operational update for its first financial quarter that ended on 30 June 2017.
”Our focus is firmly on delivering improved profitability and liquidity in the shorter term while our longer term strategy remains unchanged. More specifically, we will focus our management effort on the new operations in the DRC and Ethiopia, ensuring that they deliver to expectations, while further optimising efficiency in our other businesses,” said interim chief executive officer (CEO) Johan Claassen.