- Dangote to Open Cement Plant in Congo
Dangote Cement will formally open its 1.5million metric tonnes Cement Plant in Congo on Thursday.
The plant, built at a cost of $500 million, is expected to directly employ more than 1000 people, and thousands more in indirect job placement.
The Plant which is now the largest in Congo rolled out its first bag of cement on the 7th of August, 2017.
Dangote Cement plants currently feature in 17 African countries. The Congo Plant commissioning will bring the total of Dangote Cement fully operational Plants in Africa, to 10.
The company’s third quarter unaudited results showed that the Congo plant which recently began operations has almost doubled the size of the cement sector in the country.
In the overall, Dangote Cement maintained its strong hold in the domestic cement market accounting for 65 percent of the Nigerian cement market while Pan-African volumes went up by 7.5 percent to 7.0 mta. Analysis of the results indicated that the company recorded strong volumes in Senegal, Ethiopia and Cameroon.
In the nine months under review, the 1.5 mta clinker grinding facility in Douala Cameroon sold approximately 938 kt of cement, indicating an increase of 16.4 percent on the 806 kt sold the same period in 2016.
The company attributes the increase in sales to a number of factors ranging from strong brand recognition, increased point of sales branding, improvements in sales and marketing strategies to higher visibility through trade shows.
Dangote Cement Ethiopia increased sales by 16.8 percent to nearly 1.7 mta in the first nine months of 2017 representing capacity utilization of approximately 88 percent. The cement plant in Pout Senegal sold 1.0mta of cement in the period under review, up by 21.7 percent on the comparable period of 2016. This represents almost 89 percent capacity utilization at the factory.
Statement from the company stated that “Our Pan-African operations are performing strongly with excellent sales growth in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal. We are consolidating our success across Africa and have just commissioned our 1.5Mta factory in Congo, the tenth country in which we have established operations.
In our key operations in Nigeria we have significantly improved our fuel mix and this has helped increase margins across the Group. It is especially good for Nigeria because most of the coal we are using is mined in our own country”.
It would be recalled that top rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service(Moody’) and Global Credit Ratings recently scored Dangote Cement high marks in their recent published ratings assigning a stable outlook to the foremost cement conglomerate.
Moody’s assigned a first-time Ba3 corporate family rating (CFR), Ba3-PD probability of default rating and Aaa.ng national scale rating (NSR) corporate family rating to Dangote Cement Plc (DCP), with the outlook on the ratings as stable while Global Credit Ratings accorded initial long term and short term national scale issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG) respectively, to Dangote Cement Plc, with the outlook accorded as Stable.
Speaking on the rating, Douglas Rowlings, Vice President and lead analyst for Dangote Cement Plc at Moody’s said, “Dangote Cement Plc’s Ba3 corporate family rating, one-notch above the Government of Nigeria’s rating, reflects the company’s strong standalone credit profile and track record of demonstrated financial support from a larger and more diversified parent, Dangote Industries Limited.”
He added that the ratings factor in the diversification of the company’s revenue streams as DCP’s new cement production plants are commissioned in Africa with Pan-African volumes expected to reach 40 percent of total sales volumes by 2020.
According to Moody’s, DCP’s Ba3 CFR and Ba3-PD probability of default rating reflect its strong financial profile, which factors high operating margins trending above 50 percent, low leverage as measured by debt/EBITDA trending below 1.0x over the next 18 months and high interest coverage as measured by EBIT/interest expense trending above 8x over the next 18 months.
Other factors which contributed to the rating include; conservative funding policies with debt funding matched to the currency of cash flow generation and prudent financial policies which will ensure sustenance of strong credit metrics through operating and project build cycles; and the additional parent level financial strength afforded by being part of a broader diversified group of companies under the Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) umbrella.
Global Credit Ratings (GCR) credit ratings on Dangote Cement were based on the fact that DCP is one of Africa’s leading integrated cement companies.
Dangote Cement Emerges Best Performing Firm In Africa
The Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA) has named the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, as the best performing company in Africa.
The award was presented to the company in Lokoja at the weekend by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, who represented the State Governor, Alhaji Yahyah Adoza Bello, at the Annual General Meeting(AGM) of KOCCIMA.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of KOCCIMA, Mr. Victor Ibrahim, said the Dangote Cement emerged through a thorough screening process that involved 20 companies.
He said: “Our screening committee considered many criteria before Dangote Cement Plc was selected”.
According to him, the Chamber put into consideration Dangote Cement’s contributions to the state’s economy through Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), as well as its good relationship with KOCCIMA.
Mr. Ibrahim said another criterion that placed the Dangote Cement in good stead is that the company has been environmentally friendly.
“We’ve visited DCP Obajana Plant and we found it complying with global best practices when it comes to the environment. Your parking lot does not constitute any environmental danger. We also considered returns to investors, the welfare of staff, the 43km Obajana-Kabba concrete road, your good relationship with the host community and your positive image”.
He announced that the Chamber of Commerce was planning to host its Trade Fair by year-end and looking forward to collaborating with the Dangote Cement Plc.
The Deputy Governor Mr. Edward Onoja expressed the appreciation of the Kogi State Government, saying the contributions of KOCCIMA and the private sector were crucial to the development of the state.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the event, representative of the Dangote Cement Plc Mr. Ademola Adeyemi said the company was elated and that the award will further spur it to continue its support to the state’s economy, KOCCIMA and Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji, A Nigerian-American as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Group has announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji, a Nigerian-American national as an executive to lead the strategy and transformation unit of the mobile network operator.
Chika has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT.
He will be leaving from McKinsey & Company, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.
His appointment with Africa’s leading mobile operator will be effective on, 15th of March. In his new role, he will be based in SA.
“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” says MTN Group chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.
To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, Ekeji joins a group of other recent appointees, including the new group chief financial officer, Tsholofelo Molefe.
In recent weeks, MTN also made changes to the group’s regional structure and the executive committee.
Union Bank Unveils Multi-Asset Trading Platform M36
Union Bank Unveils Digital Investing Platform, M36
A new digital platform designed to deliver a wide range of investment products directly to individuals and other investors, M36, has launched in Nigeria.
Through an innovative, user-friendly app, M36 offers investment options not typically available on self-service digital platforms including foreign currency transactions, commercial papers, local and foreign-denominated bonds, treasury bills and other fixed-income products.
M36 also offers bespoke solutions for both new and experienced investors as well as a 24-hour lifestyle concierge service to meet the needs of discerning customers.
In a rapidly evolving environment with changing consumer behaviour fueled by technology and growing access to information, M36 is looking to expand opportunities for investors at all levels, while also simplifying the process of investing.
M36 was developed by Union Bank as part of its strategic focus on delivering superior customer solutions leveraging technology and innovation. The bank partnered with several asset management companies to deliver a broad range of investment products on the M36 platform.
Speaking about this, Mr. Chuka Emerole, Head, Treasury at Union Bank said, “M36 eliminates the traditional barriers to investing and offers investors direct access to financial instruments that would usually require the service of an investment or relationship manager.
“We’ve designed M36 to ensure simplicity in the onboarding and investing process while also empowering the customer to make sound investment choices based on their financial objectives.
“We worked with key partners to deliver both the experience and products on M36 and are confident that we have launched a superior product in today’s marketplace”.
With the 24-hour concierge service, M36 users can access round-the-clock support from investment advisors as they actively manage their portfolios.
The bank said the M36 was a timely financial product meant to keep abreast with the rapidly evolving environment and changing consumer behavior that is fueled by technology and growing access to information.
The M36 is also part of the UBN’s strategic focus on delivering superior customer solutions by leveraging technology and innovation. The bank partnered with several asset management companies to deliver a broad range of investment products on the M36 platform.
M36 also offers loans, personal travel allowance, will and trust services and many more essential products under its Life Essentials menu.
M36 is available for download on the App Store and the Google Play Store.
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