PPC flags 40 percent jump in H1 profit

PPC flags 40 percent jump in H1 profit

South African cement maker PPC Ltd flagged an increase of as much as 40 percent in half-year profit on Tuesday, citing robust performance in Zimbabwe and Rwanda and lower finance costs.

PPC, the subject of tie-up approaches from local rival Afrisam and Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim, said headline earnings per share likely rose by between 30 and 40 percent in the six months ended September.



Headline EPS, a widely-used performance measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

The profit guidance could give PPC shareholders a reason to hold out for a higher bid from South Africa’s No.2 cement maker Afrisam, whose all-share merger proposal that values its larger rival at about $700 million, and does not have the backing of the board and the company’s 14 percent shareholder Prudential.

Shares in PPC have climbed by nearly one-third so far this year to 7.12 rand, well above the 5.75 rand per share offered by Afrisam.

Investors are also waiting to see the terms of LafargeHolcim’s non-binding proposal to combine its African assets with those of PPC. LafargeHolcim has said it would make a firm offer this month. – Reuters