AshakaCem records drop in profit

Ashaka Cement Plc, an indigenous cement manufacturing company, has announced a drop of N301m in profit after tax for its 2013 financial year.

The firm, in its 2013 annual report made available to our correspondent after its 39th Annual General Meeting in Abuja, posted a PAT of N3.125bn in 2012 as against N2.824bn recorded in the period under review.

Its profit before tax and gross profit were N2.845bn and N6.228bn in 2013, in contrast to N5.474bn and N8.325bn recorded in the preceding year.

Turnover for 2013 was N21.695bn, while that of 2012 was N21.826bn.

The board of directors of the firm, according to the annual report, proposed a gross dividend of 42kobo on every ordinary share issue, amounting to N940.5m.

Speaking on the firm’s results for the year, the Chairman of the Board, AhakaCem, Mr. Umaru Kwairanga, said the total cement dispatched for the year closed at 757,000 metric tons, up by 2.2 per cent on 2012.

“On the other hand, turnover decreased by approximately one per cent as a result of increased self-collection of cement by distributors which excludes haulage element from selling prices.”

He stated that increase in cost of sales and the consequent reduction in PBT partly resulted from increased usage of expensive low pour fuel oil, while the installation and commissioning of the firm’s coal grinding and dozing plant was being completed.

Kwairanga said the plant had been completed and this had positively impacted on its performance, adding that “our impressive 2014 first quarter financial results are living testimonies to that.”

He said tax charged for the year decreased to N20.6m from N2.4bn for 2012. The decrease, according to the chairman, resulted mainly from the impact on the current and prior year financial results of the pioneer status granted on the company’s coal mine.

Explaining why a dividend of 42 kobo per ordinary share was proposed by the board, Kwairanga said the company had announced its plans to invest in a significant expansion of its cement production capacity to about four million metric tons from the current approximately one million metric tons.

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