Dangote Cement profit hits N201.9bn

Nigeria’s largest company and the continent’s biggest producer of cement, said full-year profit gained 39 percent as sales in the local market surged.

Net income for the year through December rose to 201.9 billion naira ($1.2 billion) from 145.1 billion naira a year earlier, the Lagos-based company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 29 percent to 386.2 billion naira, while sales in Nigeria increased 28 percent to 13.3 million metric tons.

The company, controlled by billionaire Chairman Aliko Dangote, has production capacity of 20.3 million tons across three Nigerian plants. It plans to expand into 13 other nations on the continent, bringing total capacity to more than 60 million tons by 2016.

“As the Nigerian cement market grew by a strong 15.6 percent, we managed even better growth,” Chief Executive Officer Devakumar Edwin said in the statement. “We increased our margins despite continuing disruption to our gas supply.” Nigeria’s economy has expanded 6 percent a year since 2006, according to the World Bank.

Dangote Cement will invest about $1 billion on plant expansion this year, Edwin said at an investor conference in Lagos today. The company plans to complete building work on the Ibese and Obajana plants as well as projects in Zambia, Senegal and Cameroon from 2014 to 2016, he said.

The company said it would more than double its dividend to 7 naira a share, compared with 3 naira the previous year. The stock closed unchanged today in Lagos at 230 naira. Dangote Cement has gained 51 percent in a year, compared with a 13 percent gain on the 193-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

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