Africa’s largest cement company, Nigeria’s Dangote Cement Plc, exported 0.4 million tonnes of cement to other countries in 2016, an increase of 54 per cent from the level shipped in 2015.
The exports by Dangote, which also sold 8.6 million tonnes of the critical building material in other African countries last year, has ended the era of Nigeria’s dependence on imports of cement, according to Dangote Cement’s 2016 annual report.
The company, one of the main companies controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said its cement sales outside Nigeria last year were an increase of 54 per cent more on the amount sold in 2015.
The exports from Nigeria is significant given that the nation used to be a net importer of cement. In 2011, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers of cement, buying 5.1 million tonnes of foreign cement with huge impact on the country’s balance of payments.
The company’s pan-African cement plants continued to perform well, contributing significantly to its turnover and profitability, said Chief Executive Officer Onne van der Weijde, who assured investors of better returns on their investment in Dangote Cement.
“The new year has started well and we expect much higher profitability in Nigeria in 2017, even though we may not see the volume growth we achieved in 2016. I am confident that we will deliver an even stronger performance in 2017 as we increase market share and extend our reach across Africa.”
The economic challenges notwithstanding, Onne revealed that Dangote Cement achieved sales and revenue growth of 25 per cent and consolidated its position as Africa’s leading producer of cement.
While sales from Nigerian operations increased by 13.8 per cent to nearly 15.1 million tonnes at a growth rate far higher than the country’s GDP, which fell in 2016, its total revenue leapt by 25.1 per cent to 615.1 billion Naira (about 1.95 billion US dollars).
Earnings per share rose 4.5 per cent to 11.34 Naira and the dividend payout also increased significantly by 6.3 per cent to 8.5 kobo per share.
Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46 million tonnes of capacity across Africa.