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LafargeHolcim brings new plastering cement

The company invests $500m in BD over the years

| Updated: June 10, 2018 14:51:47

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LafargeHolcim brings new plastering cement

LafargeHolcim Bangladesh has recently launched new specialised cement for plastering.

"Plastered surface will be more durable, less prone to cracks thus requiring less repair and maintenance," Rajesh K Surana, chief executive officer of LafargeHolcim said recently.

The new cement will help customers to save time and cost substantially and is expected to create a big impact in overall construction management process, Mr Rajesh said.

According to Rajesh, the company invested US$500 million in Bangladesh over the years and plans for even more.

It is the biggest foreign direct investment in the building material sector in Bangladesh, he said.

Mr. Rajesh informed that LafargeHolcim Group is continuously working in research and development to find best and sustainable solutions in the construction sector.

"In that pursuit, we are going to bring more innovative products in the market," he said.

In January 2018, the company completed the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Holcim Cement (Bangladesh) Limited.

With the acquisition of Holcim Bangladesh, the annual cement production capacity of the company has increased to 4.2 million tonnes from 1.4 million tonnes.

"Today, the annual cement production capacity of the company is 4.2 million tonnes," said Christof Hässig, chairman of the LafargeHolcim Bangladesh, in the annual report-2017.

He said the company is now the 'proud owner' of two most premium quality cement brands in Bangladesh.

Producing 4.20 million tonnes world class cement annually, LafargeHolcim Bangladesh enjoys the confidence of the customers.

The company's 20th annual general meeting (AGM) was held on Thursday where the shareholders adopted the directors' and auditors' reports.

They also approved 5.0 per cent interim and 5.0 per cent final cash dividend for the year ended December 31, 2017.

LafargeHolcim's consolidated earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk 0.69, consolidated net asset value (NAV) per share of Tk 13.15 and consolidated net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) of Tk 1.12 for the year ended on December 31, 2017 as against Tk 1.92, Tk. 13.24 and Tk. 2.26 respectively for the year previous year.

The company has also reported first quarter (Q1) financial reports. As per the Q1 reports, the company's consolidated EPS was Tk 0.20 for January-March 2018 as against Tk 0.27 for January-March 2017.

Each share of the multinational cement maker, which was listed on the Dhaka bourse in 2003, closed at Tk 55.10 on Thursday at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).

The sponsor-directors own 64.68 per cent stake in the company while the institutional investors own 15.02 per cent, foreign 1.17 per cent and the general public 19.13 per cent as on April 30, 2018.

The company's paid-up capital is Tk 11.61 billion and authorised capital is Tk 14 billion while the total number of securities is 1.16 billion.

In 2016, the company also disbursed a total of 10 per cent cash dividend.

"Our plant at Chhatak, Sunamganj is the only dry process integrated cement plant of the country. By producing its own clinker, the company saves about $50 million in foreign exchange per year for Bangladesh," Mr Rajesh said.

The company has established a unique cross border project, bringing limestone from its own quarry in India via a 17-kilometre cross border conveyor belt and producing clinker at the Chhatak plant.

Meanwhile, the company's gross profit margin went down by 24.02 per cent in 2017 compared to last year due to multiple reasons.

"The country experienced the highest rainfalls of the last 40 years causing severe floods. Sales were significantly impacted by the prolonged rainy season and the floods," the company said in its annual report.

The cement prices declined due to the sustained pressure from competitors to push volumes and gain market shares, it said.

The costs of raw materials were on the rise. The delay in obtaining necessary regulatory approvals for acquisition of 100 per cent shares of Holcim Bangladesh negatively impacted the performance of the company.

Furthermore, in the year 2017, the company incurred one-time cost including the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning software and the costs relating to the acquisition of Holcim Bangladesh, according to its annual report.

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