By Oluwaseun Afolabi
Lafarge Africa Plc, a sub-Saharan African building materials company, on Monday, announced a loss after tax of N2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, compared with a profit after tax of N9.4 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
The unaudited results just released showed that Lafarge recorded revenue of N80.6 billion, a decline of -0.86 percent from N81.3 billion in quarter one of 2017.
The performance for the quarter showed that both top line and bottom line figures declined as a gross profit of N18 billion was recorded, compared to N20.9 billion in the corresponding quarter. The performance is as a result of an increase in administrative expenses and finance cost, which rose from N6.9 billion to N10.2 billion, and from N9.2 billion to N3.9 billion in the quarter under review respectively, due to an increase in interest on borrowings and a recently incurred interest on bank overdraft.
Lafarge Africa Plc recorded a loss of N34.601 billion full year to December 2017, and Michel Pucheros, the chief executive officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, said: “In 2018 we shall implement a continuous improvement programme that will see us building on EBITDA margins above the 35 percent benchmark.”
In this quarter, Lafarge’s EBITDA, which is a measurement of the company’s operating profit to its total revenue is -3.65 percent and for them to surpass the 35 percent benchmark at the end of 2018, they must make an effort towards curbing current expenses.