BULAWAYO, April 14 (The Source) – Pretoria Portland Cement Zimbabwe says it has recorded a four percent growth in sales in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the prior year, but warned that the current economic slowdown could lead to slower growth in the second quarter.
The company also projected a three percent increase in sales for the second quarter compared to the prior year, on the back of increase in sales volumes from domestic market.
PPC general manager in charge of sales and marketing in Zimbabwe, Roger Steyn told The Source that total sales in the first quarter were four percent up compared to the same period last year buoyed by increase in growth mainly domestic market.
“Total sales compared to same period 2014 were 4 percent up (due to) an increase in growth mainly domestic market. Second quarter is projected to achieve at least 3 percent compared to the same period last year,” said Steyn.
Regional cement producer last month indicated exports from its Zimbabwe operations had taken a knock, accounting for only 10 percent of cement sales volumes although local sales were encouraging.
The South African group also said it still enjoys a strong market position in Zimbabwe as well as in Botswana and Rwanda.
“In-country (Zimbabwe) cement sales volumes are exhibiting a pleasing trend while export sales have reduced. Export sales currently make up about 10 percent of total cement sales volumes,” said the group then.
It added that there had been a limited growth in domestic selling prices although export prices, despite the decline, have remained attractive.
PPC’s only cement plant in Zimbabwe located in Bulawayo produced around 600,000 tonnes of cement last year while operating at 75 percent of installed capacity.
The group also has lime clinker plant in Coleen Bawn in Matabeleland South but the bulk of its cement market is in Harare.
It is constructing a $75 million Harare plant, which will have capacity to produce 680,000 tonnes annually in Harare.
The group said construction was on course and commissioning remains set for next year.