Record sales volume in July boosts Lafarge’s Q3 performance

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  • Sales volumes were up 7% ahead of SPLY
  • Demand for cement in the construction sector increased by 34% ahead of Q2
  • The Company recorded a solid gross profit margins exceeding the set target

HARARE – Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Limited’s operations experienced a rebound in the third quarter ended 30 September 2020 (Q3 2020) after recording a 30% plunge in sales volumes in Q2 due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.

The rebound came on the back of a record sales volumes that were recorded in the month of July, the best for the same month since 2003.

In a statement accompanying the trading update for the period under review, Company Chairperson, Kumbirai Katsande said, “This accelerated volumes recovery, closing the quarter at 7% above the same period prior year.”

He added that volumes were driven by a strong recovery in the Individual Home Builder (IHB) market, Concrete Plaster Manufacturing (CPM) and Roads segments on the back of strong tobacco and cotton market revenues.

Demand for cement in the construction sector increased by 34% ahead of Q2 following the reopening of the economy after the COVID-19 induced national lockdown.

Likewise, the Dry Mortars business grew by 64% in volumes against the same period last year mainly influenced by the increase in demand for SupaGrow, the agricultural lime range during the winter land preparation season.

The Company recorded a solid gross profit margins exceeding the set target attributed to an intense focus on cost rationalization. Foreign currency receipts grew substantially in the quarter.

“Consequently, the company was able to meet its foreign currency obligations. The business remains profitable”, said Mr Katsande.

On the outlook, the company anticipates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue into the foreseeable future.

“Normally market demand tapers off at the height of the rainy season. The anticipation is that there will be continued benefit from the current stability in the exchange rate assuming there is strict control of money supply”, said Mr Katsande.

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