LUSAKA Stock Exchange listed Lafarge Cement Zambia produced a solid performance and returned to profitability after posting a K363 million profit during the financial year ended December 2020 from a K38,6 million loss registered prior year.
The cement manufacturing giant sales revenue firmed 53% at K1, 693 million for the period compared to K1,11 million in 2019.
Profit before tax at K342 million compared to restated loss of K56 million in 2019.
Cash generation of K135 million was up compared to cash deficit of K5 million in 2019.
Net assets grew to K 1, 63 million from K 1, 56 million.
Cash and cash equivalents at end of December 2020 was K283, 140 from K 76, 081 same period prior year.
The management said the firm results exhibited resilience amidst a tough operating atmosphere characterised by the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the local market conditions were disrupted and impacted by various factors beyond the Company’s control. The Company’s results show resilience amidst a challenging operating environment,” company secretary Chibuye Mbesuma Ngulube said in a statement accompanying the results.
In response to the challenge, Lafarge Zambia Plc. implemented the “HEALTH, COST & CASH” action plan which aimed to protect the health of its employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders while limiting the impact of the pandemic on profitability and liquidity.
During this period the company said it launched a digital retail sales ordering application and a last mile delivery system that enabled sales from any location without physical interaction.
“We are proud of our people’s resilience, who stood with our communities in the fight against COVID 19 and successfully implemented the “HEALTH, COST & CASH” action plan to drive results in 2020. I am confident in the Company’s sustainability commitments to accelerate our net zero pledge, through our Geocycle brand that remains a core business priority. The Focus for 2021 will continue to be the “HEALTH, COST & CASH” action plan,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Khan said.
In march this year, was fined by Zambia’s competition watchdog for contravening the country’s competition and consumer protection Act .
According to an investigation carried out by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission(CCPC) established that Lafarge cement Zambia and another cement company Mpande Limestone Limited were colluding to fix cement prices.
Lafarge Zambia and Mpande Limestone were fined 10% of its annual turnover for the year 2019 and 10% of its annual turnover for the year 2020 by CCPC.
Lafarge Zambia said it intends to exercise its rights to appeal the commission’s decision.
Another cement manufacturer in the country, Dangote Cement Zambia Limited was granted leniency for cooperating with the CCPC during investigations.