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Lafarge Africa to pay N15.9bn dividend

By on May 26, 2015

Lafarge Africa Plc has received the approval of its shareholders to pay N15.855bn as dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2014.

The shareholders approved the dividend, recommended by the Board of Directors and which translates into N3.60 per ordinary share, at the group’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos.

In approving the dividend, which is nine per cent higher than the N3.30 it paid for the 2013 financial year, the shareholders commended the Board and management for its performance in the year under review.

Reviewing the performance of the group in 2014, the Chairman, Lafarge Africa, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, explained that all of Lafarge Africa’s Nigerian enities showed strong growth.

He added that the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation grew by 16 per cent in Nigeria when compared with 2013.

The Lafarge Africa chairman said, “All Nigerian entities showed strong growth with Ashaka Cement doubling its EBITDA following coal substitution increasing from 35 per cent to 70 per cent and overall increase in operational efficiency by 91 per cent and WAPCO by a solid eight per cent.”

On the outlook for the company, Osunkeye said the medium to long-term outlook remained positive for Lafarge South Africa Holding.

He said, “The recent strengthening of the rand versus the naira will increase the value of the South African profits to the group, and is a testament to the advantages of having added Lafarge South Africa to the group.

Osunkeye explained that the creation of Lafarge Africa had transformed a company into a group, which was equipped to achieve accelerated growth and withstand challenges in the industry.

He added, “Our cement production capacity has grown from 4.5 million tons to about 12 million tons. In addition, 3.5 million cubic meters of ReadyMix concretes and over 5.0 million tons of aggregates have been added to the portfolio.

The turnover has doubled from N100bn to N200bn and the EBITDA has grown from N36bn to N55bn. N99bn of cash was generated from operations in 2014.

“All of this is building the foundation which was laid over the last few years, and the transformation into Lafarge Africa Plc is a natural progression to take our company to the next level.”

Osunkeye, who retired from the group at the end of the AGM, thanked all the shareholders and staff of the group for their support over the years, adding that it was an honour to have served on the board for 14 years and as chairman for five years.

He called on all of the stakeholders to show the same level of commitment and support to his successor, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun.

He said, “Balogun is a seasoned and committed director with breadth of experience across finance, strategy and management. He is very familiar with Lafarge’s business in Nigeria and Africa and I am sure he is the right person to chair the Board going forward.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Guillaume Roux, attributed the performance of the group to its commitment to corporate governance, innovation, strong customer service and cost efficiency.

He pledged that the board and management would sustain its efforts to ensure that the shareholders’ interests were protected and that they would receive greater returns.