Lucky Cement to set up cement plant in Africa

KARACHI: Board of directors of Lucky Cement Limited has approved the company’s plan to set up a joint venture cement plant in DR Congo, Africa with an estimated joint investment of $175 million.

It was decided in the recent board meeting in which the cement maker declared a profit after tax, for the year ending 30th June 2011, of Rs 3.97 billion which is 26.55% higher than last year’s net profit of Rs 3.14 billion. Lucky Cement Limited also announced a cash dividend of Rs 4 per share, or 40% on the par value of Rs 10 per share for the year ended on June 30 2011. The earnings per share (EPS) for the corresponding period increased to Rs 12.28 against an EPS of Rs 9.7 last year.

The company’s gross profit increased by 9.18% during the year as its net sales revenue improved by 6.16% to Rs 26.018 billion against Rs 24.509 billion last year. Higher local retention prices primarily contributed in the higher margins.

Local sales volume during the year under review registered a growth of 11.07% that rose to 3.46 million tonnes as compared to 3.12 million tonnes last year. However, the export sales volume plunged by 32.9% from 3.51 million tonnes to 2.35 million tonnes during the financial year ending 30 June 2011 due to slack construction activities and oversupply of cement in Middle East.

However, the exports of bagged cement recorded a 7.03% increase, which contributed in increasing the overall profitability of the company.

Financing cost of the company decreased to Rs 518 million compared to Rs 569.18 million in fiscal year 2010, as the company repaid its long-term loans during this year.

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