The Dangote Cement is extending its expansion project in Senegal and Cameroun. It is now building one of its single largest plants in Senegal
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Apr. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
DANGOTE Cement plant being built in Senegal has become the single largest investment in the country. The company is also building another plant in Cameroun as part of its expansion project in Africa. The Senegalese government has also promised to assist the firm achieve optimal production capacity.
The new Senegalese plant, located in Pout district, about 75 kilometers from Dakar, capital of the country is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, with a total production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes annually, while serving an export market demand of two million tons along the Mali axis. Luk Haelterman, country head, Dangote Industries, Senegal, disclosed that the group has invested about $300 million in the cement plant, adding that the actual production and sales started on January 10.
“In this country, Dangote will not only stop at producing cement, we also have helped beyond cement, which is the idea of the owner, to become a pan-African enterprise. Senegal is a market with over-capacity of cement, because it had two cement factories before now. But today, Dangote has become the biggest and best because we have and produce the 42.5R only, which is better than what we met on ground, which is the 32.5R,” he said.
Both Katyen Jackden, Nigerian Ambassador to Senegal, and Ousmane Cisse, Senegal director of mines, commended the doggedness of Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Group, in seeing the plant through despite various setbacks. Speaking in Dakar, during a ceremony to announce the formal commencement of production at the plant, Cisse said his government was happy with Dangote as the single investor in the country while urging other African entrepreneurs to emulate his business acumen.
The Nigerian ambassador had explained that Dangote has, through his investments in African countries, built bridges of friendship across nations, fostering unity and integration among African countries. According to her, Dangote Cement has done Nigeria proud with the commencement of production, adding that she was happy that the product was instantly accepted in the market because of its high quality grade.
Jackden stated that Dangote Cement needs encouragement to flourish and that her office would be willing to help in that regard as it has proven to be a worthy Nigerian ambassador in business. She used the opportunity to thank the Senegalese government and its people for the support and opportunity given to a foreign investor like Aliko Dangote, stressing that, Dangote has been able to bring cohesion among African nations with his investments.
Meanwhile, Dangote Cement has reported a profit after tax, PAT, of N159.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2014. Devakumar Edwin, executive director, Dangote Cement, said: “I am proud to report that we commissioned nine million tons of new capacity at our Obajana and Ibese plants and this puts them amongst the biggest cement plants in the world. Outside Nigeria, we opened up new factories in South Africa and Senegal in 2014 and our grinding plant in Cameroon has just become operational. We have started commissioning our plants in Zambia and Ethiopia and are on track to open more factories in Africa in the coming years,” he said.
“The success of our expansion is evidence that we are delivering on our strategy to become a much larger, more international company. Despite the challenging conditions of the erratic fuel supply and prolonged rainy season that affected revenues and profitability in Nigeria, the fact that we have increased our dividend payout ratio is a clear sign of confidence in our future,” he said.
Dangote Cement ended 2014 with a revenue of N392 billion up from N386 billion in 2013. Administrative expenses rose from N25.9 billion to N274 billion, while sales/distribution expenses increased from 35.6 billion to N37.4 billion. Finance cost soared by 140 per cent from N13.7 billion to N32.9 billion. Profit before tax stood at N184.7 billion, compared with N191 billion.
But the company paid an income tax of N25.2 billion in 2014, as against a tax credit of N10.5 billion 2013. The N25 billion tax charge resulted from the expirations of the tax exemptions on some lines of the company’s business. Consequently, the company ended the year a PAT of N159.5 billion, compared with N201 billion in 2013. Based on the performance, the directors have recommended a dividend of N6.00 per share, which translates to a yield of 3.9 per cent and payout ratio of 63.5 per cent.
Dividend payout ratio increased from 59.1 percent to 63.7 percent on 6.00 dividend new lines and coal mills operational at Obajana and Ibese. The African expansion is underway with plants opening in South Africa and Senegal, Cameroon recently operational and plants readying for production in Zambia and Ethiopia.