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State projects stimulate Bamburi profit

Sustained infrastructure spending by the government and a rebounding construction sector as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic impact, are some of the factors that have driven Bamburi Cement Group half year profits.

The Company’s half year unaudited Financial Statements, have shown strong growth in both topline and pretax profit, as compared to the first half of 2020.

The topline grew by 21 per cent, while pretax profit grew more than five times over, to Sh.1.1 billion, up from Sh.213 million, reported in the same period last year.

Bamburi Cement Group, Managing Director (MD), Mr. Seddiq Hassani, said that of late there has been increased spending by the government on infrastructure projects, such as the Nairobi Expressway, Thwake Dam among others which have driven demand for cement.

“The Company cited ‘a higher proportion of sales of premium products in H1 2021’, Premium Cement is largely consumed by big projects requiring special quality cement like superior strength or waterproofing and fetches more favorable prices compared to ordinary cement,” said Hassani.

Hassani attributed the growth in profit to ‘carry-over cost savings’ following the implementation of their ‘Health, Cost and Cash’ (HCC) Action Plan, that was adopted at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The MD said that the Group recorded volume recovery in both the domestic and export markets, coupled with an increased demand for premium cement products, pushing up the average selling prices and driving up the Group’s turnover up to Sh.19.6 billion, compared to Sh.16.2 billion, recorded in the comparative period.

Hassani said that the Cost Optimization Agenda, has enabled the Company offset significant cost inflation on imported clinker and coal, which has been absorbed in the reporting period, compared to last year. Financing Costs have also reduced by almost 50 per cent.

“We have a renewed commitment to operate sustainably in line with Holcim’s Agenda of Building Progress for People and Planet. To achieve this, Bamburi has lined-up carbon emission control and circular economy initiatives, that will safeguard the environment and also deliver cost-efficiencies and add greater value to the stakeholders,” Hassani added.

The sustainability initiatives include, Houses of Tomorrow (HoT) project – an initiative on green building solutions, which includes; use of low carbon emission products, a growing portfolio of Green Cements, as well as continued quarry rehabilitation, water and biodiversity management and waste management, through co-processing partnerships with waste producers, to provide environmentally clean waste disposal options among other projects.

“The past year has been a learning curve that has enabled us to evolve towards more modern business practices, as we continue to set industry standards on quality, operational efficiency, and innovation. We maintain a positive outlook for the rest of the year, as the government continues to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programs and ease-off containment measures, which we hope will continue to drive progressive economic recovery,” Hassani noted.

Dr. John Simba, Chairman of Bamburi Cement PLC, said that the Government’s continued commitment towards delivery of the ‘Big Four’ Agenda and the ongoing key infrastructure projects in oil and gas in Uganda continue to generate positive prospects for the Group.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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