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Lafarge Africa Returns To Q1 Profit, Nets N5.16bn

The management of cement maker- Lafarge Africa Plc, on Monday submitted its first quarter unaudited result, returning to profit, after posting a loss in the corresponding period of last year. The return to profit was also despite the N4.284bn income tax charge, as against the preceding first quarter’s N324.664m tax credit.
According to the result, revenue rose to N81.31bn, up by N28.89bn or 55.11% from the N52.42bn reported in the corresponding period of 2016, with sale of cement remaining the group’s honey-pot and contributing N67.432bn or 82.93% of the sales revenue, compared to the previous year’s N41.791bn or 79.72%; followed by the N12.781bn or 15.71%, from the previous N9.497bn; while ‘others’ added N1.096bn.
Cost of sales rose to N60.416bn from N44.64bn, an increase of about N15.776bn or 35.34%; comprising variable costs of N24.8bn, up from N18.957bn; production fixed cost N7.6bn from N5.244bn; and maintenance fixed cost stood at N4.891bn from N3.424bn. Distribution fixed cost rose from N11.685bn to N14.606bn; depreciation rose from N3.867bn to N6.103bn; while general and social costs rose to N2.413bn from N1.461bn.
Gross income therefore increased by N13.114bn or 168.56% to N20.894bn from N7.78bn in 2016.
Selling & Marketing expenses stood at N1.393bn, slightly higher than the previous N1.219bn, the lion’s share of which was “other selling and marketing expenses” of N1.218bn, compared with N897.736m; while administrative expenses rose to N6.959bn from N5.243bn, with administrative expenses of N4.57bn from the previous N2.985bn, just as technical fee rose slightly to N2.206bn from N2.141bn; which brought current operating income to N12.54bn from N1.317bn, representing a rise of about N11.223bn or 852.16%.
Net other operating income was N853.188m, as against expenses of N1.497bn in 2016; which brought operating income to N13.393bn, compared to a loss of N180.426m.
Finance income at N1.201bn was more than double previous first quarter’s N524.139m; just as finance expense rose to N5.149bn from N2.559bn, boosted by interest on borrowings of N4.262bn, compared to last year’s N2.114bn; resulting in net finance costs of N3.947bn from N2.035bn.
Profit before tax therefore rose to N9.446bn from a loss of N2.215bn. Tax charge stood at N4.284bn, the lion’s share of which was the current tax of N1.298bn from N236.452m, followed by the N2.87bn deferred tax, from N106.212m and capital gains of N116.326m from the previous credit of N342.664m; bringing net profit to N5.161bn, as against the previous first quarter’s N1.872bn loss, which translates to earnings per share of 92 kobo, compared with a the previous loss of 19 kobo.

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