By JAMES KUNDA –
DANGOTE cement Plc has reported that sales of 32.5 and 42.5-grade cement at its Zambian subsidiary in Ndola grew by five per cent last year.
According to the firm’s annual report for 2017, sales at the 1.5 million tonnes per annum production capacity factory, were five percent higher despite heavy rains affecting construction activity in the country and delays to government payments that affected construction.
The report said the plant which was commissioned in 2015, in its first full year of operations, 2016, sold 800,000 tonnes of cement.
Dangote said cement demand continued to grow on the back of the country’s infrastructure drive and housing, with consumption exceeding 1.6 million tonnes in 2016, representing a per-capita consumption of 101 kilogrammes (kg).
“We estimate that our market share was slightly more than 40 percent in 2017. Retail market was (however) constrained by tighter monetary policy and pressures on disposable income following the drought of 2015-2016,” the report said.
The report noted that Zambia’s economy remained relatively strong in the year under review and the country’s currency, the Kwacha strengthened in the second half of 2017.
This, the firm said helped global copper prices: an important feat for the local economy.
“We expect to see some recovery in mining-related construction activity in Zambia as copper prices increases and also as a result of infrastructure projects due to be launched when the International Monetary Fund releases funding for them,” the report said.