Following continuous increase in its production capacity, foremost cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc has finally ended the era of Nigeria’s dependence on importation as the company exported 0.4 million tons of the product to other countries in 2016. In its 2016 full year audited results presented on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos yesterday, Dangote Cement sold 8.6 million metric tons of cement outside Nigeria, which is 54 per cent more than what was sold in 2015.
The export is significant given that the nation used to be a net importer of cement. As at 2011, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers of cement, buying 5.1 million metric tons of foreign cement at huge expense to the country’s balance of payments.
The company’s Pan-African cement plants continued to perform well, contributing significantly to its turnover and profitability.
While presenting the results, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Onne van der Weijde, assured the investors of better returns on their investment in the Dangote Cement.
According to him:
“The new year has started well and we expect much higher profitability in Nigeria in 2017, even though we may not see the volume growth we achieved in 2016. I am confident that we will deliver an even stronger performance in 2017 as we increase market share and extend our reach across Africa.”
The economic challenges notwithstanding, Onne revealed that Dangote Cement achieved sales and revenue growth of 25 per cent and consolidated its position as Africa’s leading producer of cement.
While sales from Nigerian operations increased by 13.8 per cent to nearly 15.1 million metric tons at a growth rate far higher than the country’s GDP, which fell in 2016, its total revenue leaped by 25.1 per cent to ₦615.1 billion.
To the delight of the investors, Dangote Cement earnings per share increased by 4.5 per cent to ₦11.34 and the dividend payout to the shareholders also increased significantly by 6.3 per cent to N8.5 kobo per share.
It would be recalled that Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46 million metric tons’ capacity across Africa. It is a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer with production capacity of 29.25Mta in Nigeria; Obajana plant in Kogi is the largest in Africa with 13.25Mta of capacity across four lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta and Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta.
The company has also concluded arrangements to build new factories in Ogun State (3-6Mta) and Edo State (6.0Mta). Through its recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement and has transformed the nation into a net exporter of cement serving neighbouring countries.
In addition, the company has invested several billion dollars to build manufacturing plants and import/grinding terminals across Africa. Its operations are in Cameroon (1.5Mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mta), Ghana (1.0Mta import), Ethiopia (2.5Mta), Senegal (1.5Mta), Sierra Leone (0.7Mta import), South Africa (3.3Mta), Tanzania (3.0Mta), Zambia (1.5Mta).
Nigeria’s hard-currency shortage is forcing companies to get creative in their hunt for dollars. For many, including Dangote Cement Plc, that’s meant a bigger focus on exports. The continent’s largest producer of the building material has about 1,500 trucks hauling cement across the border to Benin, Ghana and Chad to access hard currency which is very good for the Nigerian economy.