LafargeHolcim Africa Unit Sees Economic Growth Boosting Profit

(Bloomberg) -- LafargeHolcim Ltd. sees improving profit margins at its Africa unit this year as Nigerian and South African economies pick up and the company invests the proceeds of a 131 billion naira ($364 million) rights issue.

The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin will rise above 35 percent, Lagos, Nigeria-based Lafarge Africa Plc said in a statement Monday. The company is working to reduce energy and transportation costs as part of a turnaround plan, according to Chief Executive Officer Michel Puchercos.

LafargeHolcim, the Jona, Switzerland-based market leader in cement, is expanding in Africa to take advantage of economic growth and a boom in infrastructure projects across the continent. Earlier Monday, Lafarge Africa said 2017 sales rose 36 percent to 299 billion naira and EBITDA almost doubled. The company sees demand for cement improving in Nigeria along with the economy, while in South Africa it’s focusing on cost controls.

As a result of the rights issue, LafargeHolcim increased its stake in Lafarge Africa to 76 percent from 71 percent.

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