Cement maker, Lafarge, which reported the collapse of the roof on one of the Company’s mills on 11 October 2021 says it is still working on the restorative works necessary so that normal operations “may resume as soon as possible.”
In a cautionary statement released on Friday, company secretary Faithful Sithole said “the disruption of cement production as well as the cost of the ongoing repairs will have a negative effect on the financial results of the Company for Quarter 1, 2022.”
“In the circumstances, shareholders should continue exercising caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a further announcement is made,” Sithole said.
She however said investigations and assessment of the damage caused by the collapse of the roof had been completed.
In March last year, Lafarge commenced the new Vertical Cement Mill, its last of projects commenced in 2019, under the US$25 million expansion programme.
Under the expansion plan, the company installed the new US$2,2million automated dry mortars (DMO) plant, which saw production capacity increasing from 7 000t per annum to 100 000t per annum.
The installation work for the new vertical cement mill started in March 2021 and is expected to be commissioned in March 2022.
Under the US$25 million expansion initiative, Lafarge would more than double its market share and annual production capacity.
According to the company’s trading update to May 2021, the business achieved volume growth leveraging on the growing market demand in the Individual Home Builder segment as well as the ongoing major infrastructure development projects led by the government.
Cement volumes for the period increased by 23,7 percent compared to prior year in spite of the Covid-19 national lockdown instituted in the first quarter.
“In the same period dry mortar products volumes grew by 105 percent compared to the same period last year.
“The Binastore retail franchise recorded a remarkable 555 percent growth in volumes compared to the same period in prior year.
“This growth in the retail franchise business was further strengthened by the growth in purchases made on the Binastore e-commerce site facilitating business continuity during lockdown periods,” said the company.
The company noted that as a result of strategic changes in product portfolio mix the average selling price was favourable against budget.