By Omobayo Azeez
Lafarge Africa Plc has released its unaudited results for the period ended March 31, 2020 in which it declared a 28 per cent increase in its profit after tax (PAT) to N8.1 billion, up from N6.3 billion in Q1, 2019.
According to the report filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, its revenue for the period improved by 9.8 per cent from N58 billion in Q1 2019 to N63.7 billion in the same period of 2020.
The report further showed that profit before tax soared significantly by 104.5 per cent to hit N9.5 billion from N4.6 billion last year and luckily the company paid 176.7 per cent less tax this year.
Meanwhile, its total assets appreciated marginally by 2.3 per cent from N343.9 billion as at March last year to N353 billion this year’s Q1.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic in the period under review, Lafarge Africa net N63.7 billion in sales, 9.8 per cent higher than N58 billion recorded in the comparative period of 2019.
Lafarge also reported 28.2 per cent in increase in earnings per share (EPS) within the period, rising from N39 in the first quarter of 2019 to N50 as at March 2020.
Commenting on the result, Khaled El Dokani, CEO of Lafarge Africa stated: “I am proud of the plan Lafarge Africa has implemented to protect the health of our people while supporting our partners and communities.
“The first quarter results confirm that our turnaround initiatives are effective and our strong balance sheet is mitigating the risks borne by the pandemic that has started hitting our country in March.”
On the outlook, he said COVID-19 impact on the 2020 results cannot be reasonably estimated at this stage, adding nonetheless that long-term prospects remain positive.
He said the company expects that the public safety measures issued by the federal and state authorities in Nigeria and around the world will adversely affect the company’s results in Q2, 2020.
“Despite short-term disruptions, Lafarge Africa Plc is however confident in the underlying resilience of its businesses and operating model as the company has developed robust cost and cash optimization initiatives.
“The Lafarge Africa’s strong balance sheet and reduced cost base will also help minimize the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CEO said.