Lafarge Africa Reports 74.56% After Tax Loss Decline In 2018

The board of Lafarge Africa Plc, on Wednesday, published its long-awaited audited financials for the year ended December 31, 2018, showing a flat 3.09% rise in revenue, while loss after tax slumped by three-quarter percent from the previous full year.
The group says it is consequently unable to propose a dividend for consideration by shareholders when they meet in the coming weeks.
Sales revenue for the period stood at N308.425bn, up from N299.153bn, out of which N217.813bn or 70.62% was derived from Nigeria, while its South African operations accounted for N90.612bn or 29.37%.
A further breakdown shows that cement production contributed the lion’s share of revenue at N251.424bn in the review period, up from N238.779bn in 2017; followed by aggregates and concrete of N55.267bn, down from the previous N57.701bn. ‘Others’ also dropped to N4.904bn from N5.615bn.
Cost of sales slipped from N250.178bn to N238.742bn, representing N11.436bn or 4.57%, the biggest chunk of which was the N152.812bn variable costs; up from N147.447bn. Variable costs however comprised the N64.785bn distribution variable cost, slightly less than N65.564bn in 2017. This was followed by gas, N22.242bn; power, N20.066bn; and raw materials and consumables, N45.718bn, up from N38.664bn in the prior year. Gross profit climbed N20.708bn or 42.28% from N48.974bn in the 2017 full year to N69.682bn. In 2017, the Nigerian operation yielded N204.484bn or 68.35%, compared to N94.668bn or 31.64% was derived from South Africa.
Selling and marketing expenses jumped by N3.021bn or 64.12% to N7.732bn from N4.711bn, the lion’s share of which was the marketing staff salaries and other staff related costs of N6.583bn, compared to N4.61bn; administrative expenses dropped marginally from N38.408bn to N37.14bn; even as other income slipped from N3.693bn to N1.383bn. Impairment loss on trade receivables declined to N74.326m from N862.779m; while other operating expenses increased to N1.308bn from N800.72m; following which operating profit stood at N24.81bn from N7.885bn, representing a rise by 214.24%.
Finance income increased marginally from N1.438bn to N1.719bn in the review period, while finance costs stood at N45.973bn from N43.216bn, driven by the interest on borrowings of N29.602bn, as against N22.067bn; just as bank charges increased from N309.069m to N2.32bn.
Loss before tax therefore dropped to N19.508bn from N34.319bn. The net loss was however positively impacted by the N10.706bn income tax credit, following which it dropped to N8.801bn from N34.801bn. Loss per share at N105 dropped from N637