CAPE TOWN: Cement Maker PPC’s revenue increased by 9% from R4.2 billion to R4.5 billion in the six months to the end of March this year with weakness in the South African market offset by a stronger performance in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Rwanda.
A total of 28% of revenue was generated from outside South Africa in the period under review. The company said it was on track to meet its target of generating 40% of revenues from outside South Africa by 2017. Operating profit, excluding an adjustment related to empowerment transactions and restructuring costs, was down 11% at R789 million, largely due to the weakness in the core South African cement business.
Headline earnings per share ended 38% lower at 60 cents per share and an interim dividend of 24 cents was declared, in line with the company’s dividend policy range of between 1,8 and 2,5 times earnings. Cold commissioning of the new 600 000 ton per annum plant in Rwanda has commenced and Darryll Castle, PPC chief executive officer, said the plant should start making “a meaningful contribution” to results in the second half of this year.
As well as continuing to focus on expansion, the company said it had identified R400 million worth of sustainable profit improvement on the existing portfolio of assets.