PPC’s share price jumped 14% to R3.99 on Thursday morning after it issued an upbeat operational update for the June quarter‚ the first of its financial year.
The cement maker said sales volumes in its home market declined slightly‚ but outside SA it had achieved double-digit growth.
“Rwanda continues to deliver robust volume growth‚ with our capacity utilisation now reaching 60%. Monthly volumes have realised their highest level since commissioning two years ago. Pricing has remained relatively stable. We have launched bulk cement‚ the first offering of its kind in the Rwandan market‚” the operating update said.
“Our Zimbabwe operations continue to exceed expectations‚ with the investment in the Harare mill contributing to volume growth‚” interim CEO Johan Claassen said in the statement.
PPC Zimbabwe achieved double-digit volume growth from the matching period‚ and in June 2017 recorded the highest monthly volumes since June 1999.
“In the Democratic Republic of Congo‚ monthly sales have tracked progressively better. We have doubled our sales volumes in each successive month despite a muted trading environment.
“While imports from Angola have reduced significantly‚ competition from local producers has increased. Pricing remains depressed due to excess capacity. However‚ management continues to implement strategies to reduce fixed overheads.
“Although cement production in Ethiopia only started in June 2017‚ more than 100‚000 tonnes of cement had been pre-sold since February 2017‚ due to high demand. This is equivalent to annualised capacity utilisation of more than 60%‚” PPC said.
In SA‚ competition from imported cement declined by 27% from the matching period. PPC’s sales volumes‚ however‚ declined marginally. This was partly due to there being two trading days fewer than in the comparative period.
Though volumes were slightly down‚ PPC said measured in rand‚ its revenue grew from the matching period.