PPC African operations showed healthy revenue growth

In Rwanda, CIMERWA continues to benefit from robust cement demand, driven by large infrastructure projects, growth in the retail market, and export demand from the eastern DRC.

Like the other jurisdictions in which PPC operates, cement sales were affected by COVID-19 related restrictions imposed by the authorities. CIMERWA cement sales in Q1 were broadly in line with prior year, with a strong recovery in Q2.

For the six months ended 30 September 2020, CIMERWA achieved revenue growth of 28% to R659 million (September 2019: R514 million), supported by a 10% increase in volumes, stable pricing in US$, and translation gains. EBITDA increased by 35% to R211 million (September 2019: R156 million) due to higher revenues and stringent cost control. EBITDA margins improved to 32.0% from 30.4% in September 2019.

PPC Barnet in the DRC achieved revenue growth of 33% to R402 million (September 2019: R303 million), driven by volume growth of 8%, higher pricing in US$ and translation gains. EBITDA improved by 64% to R133 million (September 2019: R81 million) with corresponding margins of 33.1%.

EBITDA benefitted from stringent cost control, entrenchment of our route to market strategies, as well as the positive EBITDA impact of clinker and cement inventory movements in the period.

Although the group is experiencing positive sales momentum across most of its markets, PPC remains cautious on the outlook for the rest of FY21 given the ongoing health crisis and its resultant impact on economic activity. PPC will remain focused on cash preservation and improving cost competitiveness by lowering operational costs.

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