By NKOLE MULAMBIA
LAFARGE Zambia Plc has recorded a substantial increase in profit after tax of K181 million during the half of this year.
Company chief executive officer, Emmanuel Rigaux, said the profit went up by 66 percent largely driven by favourable volumes, launch of cost control measures and improved industrial performance and positive foreign exchange gains.
â€œOur priority to improve our level of customer service through innovative new products, a re-focused sales and customer service team, and state-of-the-art logistical solutions, have started to show results.
Together with improvements in operational and industrial performance at our Ndola and Chilanga plants, we have managed to attain encouraging first half results despite a challenging environment in Zambia and key export markets,â€ he said.
Mr Rigaux said this in the company results for the half year ended June 30, 2014.
He said cement production grew by 13 percent to reach close to 600,000 metric tonnes.
Mr Rigaux, however, said results improved despite domestic and export markets facing challenges with stiffening competition, cost inflation and a number of changes in the regulatory environment.
The company expects continued efforts on customer side and the cost control side to enable the firm grow profitably and meet the needs of domestic and export customers, with a strong focus on infrastructure and mining projects in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He said the Lafargeâ€™s capacity expansion projects in Ndola and Chilanga currently underway would also enable the firm to remain the most innovative and preferred supplier of construction solutions in Zambia and the DRC.
Mr Rigaux said the demand for the cement was expected to remain strong for the rest of this year, saying innovative products, services and solutions would be introduced as required to satisfy the growing demand in the construction sector.
By NKOLE MULAMBIA