“We are finalising the transaction that will see the company increase its stake in Habesha Cement Company, in Ethiopia, to 51 per cent,” said PPC.
“The civil and mechanical construction of the 600,000 tpa plant in Rwanda is complete with only the electrical installation work to be finalised.”
[DATA PPC:PPC] reported positive cement sales in the first quarter, which were supported by the consolidation of Safika Cement as well as growth achieved in Zimbabwe and Botswana, and the board is also currently considering a merger proposal from AfriSam.
(READ MORE: AfriSam, PPC deal doesn’t make sense: Expert)
However, difficulties still continue in its South African operating environment due to weak economic growth, aggravated by power shortages and increased competitor activity.
“Domestic sales volume growth in Zimbabwe and Botswana has shown an upward trend. However, in all territories muted selling price growth has been achieved,” said PPC.
The company saw improvement in its lime division, with new business secured and higher off-take from the steel and alloys industries.
It also anticipated that earnings per share for the first half of 2015 would reflect a year-on-year decline, attributed to last year’s once-off-tax credit combined with increased finance costs in the year.
“The board of directors of PPC advises that its headline earnings per share for the six months ending 31 March 2015 is expected to be between 25 per cent and 45 per cent lower compared to the headline earnings as reported for the comparable period ended 31 March 2014,” it said.
PPC is set to release its interim results for the six month period ending 31 March 2015 on 19 May 2015.