INCREASE

Bamburi Cement half-year profit grows marginally to Sh776m

Maintains positive outlook for the rest of the year

In Summary

•There has been increased spending by the government on infrastructure projects like the ongoing Nairobi Expressway, Thwake dam among others.

•The company has cited a higher proportion of sales of premium products in half 1 2021.

Loaders place finished cement onto the track at the Athi River Bamburi Cement /FILE
Loaders place finished cement onto the track at the Athi River Bamburi Cement /FILE

Bamburi Cement Group has posted a Sh776 million profit for the year to June 30, gaining from a resilient construction sector.

This is a 7.6 per cent growth compared to the Sh721 million profit recorded in a similar period last year.

The cement maker attributes the growth to recovery of the cement market against a depressed first half of 2020, impacted adversely by the Covid-19 containment measures introduced at the onset of the pandemic.

The Group recorded volume recovery in both the domestic and export markets coupled with an increased demand for premium cement products, pushing up the average selling prices and driving up turnover up to Sh19.6 billion.

This is up compared to Sh16.2 billion recorded in the comparative period.

Also benefiting the company is sustained infrastructure spending by governments and a rebounding construction sector as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic impact.

Of late, there has been increased spending by the government on infrastructure projects like the ongoing Nairobi Expressway, Thwake dam among others.

The company has cited “a higher proportion of sales of premium products in half 1 2021”.

Premium cement is largely consumed by big projects requiring special quality cement like superior strength or waterproofing, and fetches more favorable prices compared to ordinary cement.

Managing director Seddiq Hassani has also attributed the performance  to  carry-over cost savings following the implementation of the group's  ‘Health, Cost & Cash’ (HCC) action plan, that was adopted at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The cost optimisation agenda has enabled the company offset significant cost inflation on imported clinker and coal that has been absorbed in the reporting period, compared to last year,Hassani notes.

Financing costs have also reduced by almost 50 per cent.

*We have a renewed commitment to operate sustainably in line with Holcim’s agenda of building progress for people and planet," he said.

To achieve this, Bamburi has lined up carbon emission control and circular economy initiatives that will safeguard the environment and also deliver cost-efficiencies and add greater value to the stakeholders, Hassani added.

The sustainability initiatives include, Houses of Tomorrow (HoT) project –an initiative on green building solutions which includes use of low carbon emission products.

It also focuses on growing the portfolio of green cements, quarry rehabilitation, water and biodiversity management and waste management through co-processing partnerships with waste producers.

“The past year has been a learning curve that has enabled us to evolve towards more modern business practices. We maintain a positive outlook for the rest of the year as the government continues to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programs and ease-off containment measures," Hassani said.

John Simba, chairman,Bamburi Cement Plc said:“The Kenyan government’s continued commitment towards delivery of the Big Four agenda and the ongoing key infrastructure projects in oil and gas in Uganda continue to generate positive prospects for the Group”.