Dangote Cement profit rises as volumes, Nigeria sales increase despite economic woes

New factories performed successfully across Africa, and in Nigeria increased sales against the worst economic crisis the country has faced in years

DANGOTE Cement Plc, Africa’s largest producer of the building material, said full-year profit rose 15% as a price cut in its home market of Nigeria helped bolster sales and offset the effects of slowing economic growth, while new plants increased total volumes by 35 percent.

Net income was 185 billion naira ($929.4 million) in the 12 months through December, compared with 160.6 billion naira a year earlier, the Lagos-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Revenue increased 26% to 492 billion naira.

Dangote Cement, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is seeking to boost sales and protect market share in Nigeria amid slowing economic growth, while rapidly expanding elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. The company cut prices in Nigeria in September to boost consumption and compete with imports, and said last month it will build two new plants in the country.

“New factories performed very successfully across Africa, gaining significant market share against long-established incumbents,” Chief Executive Officer Onne van der Weijde said in the statement. “In our home market of Nigeria we increased sales by 3.2% against the worst economic crisis the country has faced in many years, which demonstrates that the Nigerian market is very robust.”

Economic growth in Africa’s most populous nation of more than 170 million last year is estimated to have eased to 3%, its slowest pace in more than a decade, after oil prices plunged. Dangote has also grappled with a shortage of foreign exchange in the country.

Dangote last year announced plans to add 25 million metric tons of capacity across African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia, as well as a new plant in Nepal.

-Bloomberg

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