Lafarge blames 65% profit decline in Q1 on FX loss

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Lafarge Africa Plc, has said its net profit dropped by 65 percent in first quarter of 2024 as a result of the impact of foreign exchange devaluation.

The cement producer however reported a net sales increase of 50 percent year-on-year with improved sales volume. Operating profit went up by 36 percent YoY driven by improvement in net sales.

Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, CEO of Lafarge Africa, commented, “We experienced a growth in cement sales as market recovered in the quarter. However, foreign exchange losses due to further Naira devaluation in the quarter resulted in a PAT decline of 65%. In spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment, we continue to focus on delivering sustainable value for all our stakeholders, positioning us for sustainable growth over the medium to long term. I would like to thank all employees and stakeholders of Lafarge Africa for their commitment despite the macroeconomic headwinds being experienced in the industry.”

Commenting on the activities of the company in the review period, the CEO said, “Lafarge Africa unveiled an innovative product poised to redefine industry standards, offering a solution previously unseen in construction materials. Lafarge Watershield Cement prevents water from permeating into buildings, thus ensuring the durability of the structure. This can be used for new structures and for remedial works where rust marks or seepage is evident on the building. This new product is damp resistant, limits salts efflorescence, corrosion resistant and maintains concrete breathability without requiring costly solutions like wall tiles.”

Also, Lafarge commissioned the Evacuation Road in Calabar. The Evacuation Road, spanning 20 kilometres, is the culmination of years of meticulous planning, dedication and collaboration between Lafarge Africa and its stakeholders. The new road which replaces the outdated and unsafe equipment road will significantly improve transportation efficiency and safety.

“The outlook for the Nigerian Infrastructure and Construction Sector remains positive despite inflationary pressure affecting the economy. As a result, we expect increased demand in the remaining quarters of 2024 as the economy picks up and a further strengthening of the currency. We will continue to maximize volume opportunities across our markets and actively manage our costs. The Company remains committed to its sustainability ambitions and strategy of ‘Accelerating Green Growth’ through innovative building solutions and delivering stakeholder value,” Alade-Akinyemi noted.