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Lafarge Africa Reports 22.6% Operating Profit Growth for 9M 2023

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Lafarge Africa - Investors King

Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading player in the building materials industry, has reported strong financial performance for the third quarter of 2023 despite economic challenges in Nigeria.

The company’s Q3 net sales surged by 9.8%, a testament to its resilience in the face of inflation and the devaluation of the Naira.

However, the Q3 profit before tax (PBT) experienced a 17.4% decline, primarily due to foreign exchange losses and increased income tax expenses following the expiration of the Pioneer Status Incentive in 2022. The profit after tax (PAT) for the same period was down by 48.9%.

Over the course of the first nine months of 2023, Lafarge Africa maintained a positive trajectory with a 7.1% increase in net sales compared to the previous year.

Moreover, the operating profit saw a substantial rise of 22.6%, contributing to a 13.4% growth in the profit before tax. However, the profit after tax for the nine-month period declined by 12.5%.

Lafarge Africa’s free cash flow for the first nine months amounted to N72.5 billion, reflecting a robust financial position with a net cash balance of N117.8 billion.

The company remains committed to innovation, operational excellence, health and safety, and its decarbonization efforts, reinforcing its position as a leader in the building materials industry.

Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, CEO Lafarge Africa, commented: “The fundamentals of the business remain
strong. We achieved strong top-line growth of 9.8% and 7.1% in Q3 and 9M, respectively. 9M Operating
Profit grew 22.6%. Our Q3 performance was however impacted by macro-economic challenges mostly inflation and Naira devaluation.

“We continue to maintain a strong free cash flow position and a healthy balance sheet, positioning us for
sustainable growth. Our mid to long term outlook remains positive. We are committed to delivering
sustainable value to all stakeholders as we go into the last quarter of the year. I would like to thank all
employees and stakeholders of Lafarge Africa for their support over the years and in the last quarter’’

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Merger and Acquisition

EnjoyCorp Limited Secures Strategic Acquisition of Champion Breweries Plc

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Champion Breweries

EnjoyCorp Limited, a conglomerate known for its ventures in food, beverage, and hospitality, has successfully secured a strategic acquisition deal with Heineken B.V.

The agreement entails EnjoyCorp acquiring 100% of Heineken’s shareholding in The Raysun Nigeria Company Limited, which holds an 86.5% stake in Champion Breweries Plc, a prominent regional brewer listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.

Heineken will extend its support to Champion Breweries for a year post-acquisition, ensuring a seamless transition of ownership.

This acquisition marks EnjoyCorp’s strategic entry into the beverage sector, aligning with its vision of catering to the diverse tastes of the African consumer market.

By integrating Champion Breweries as an anchor subsidiary, EnjoyCorp aims to strengthen its foothold in the industry.

EnjoyCorp, known for its mission to enrich life’s moments through quality brands and sustainability, sees this acquisition as a pivotal step in its journey toward transformative growth.

With a focus on innovation and community engagement, EnjoyCorp endeavors to inspire consumers to cherish life’s moments responsibly.

The acquisition underscores EnjoyCorp’s commitment to shaping the future of the beverage industry in Africa.

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Company News

Apple’s Ambitious Electric Car Effort Comes to an End, Stock Rises

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inside apple company

Apple Inc. has announced the termination of its decade-long effort to develop an electric car, marking the end of one of the company’s most ambitious projects.

The decision was disclosed internally on Tuesday, surprising nearly 2,000 employees involved in the project, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Vice President Kevin Lynch, who spearheaded the effort, informed staff that the project would wind down.

Many employees from the car team, known as the Special Projects Group, will transition to Apple’s artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea, focusing on generative AI projects.

The news brought a sense of relief to investors, with Apple’s stock climbing approximately 1% to $182.63 at the close of trading in New York.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., also celebrated the decision, signaling approval with a post on social media.

The end of the electric car project, named Project Titan, is a significant shift for Apple, which initially aimed to produce a fully autonomous electric vehicle with advanced features.

However, the endeavor faced challenges from its inception, including leadership changes and strategic shifts.

Despite investing substantial resources and talent, Apple found itself grappling with a cooling market for electric vehicles, sluggish sales growth, and manufacturing hurdles.

The company explored various designs and tested self-driving technology extensively but ultimately struggled to achieve breakthroughs in the competitive automotive industry.

Apple’s decision underscores its strategic shift towards prioritizing generative AI projects over automotive ventures.

While the end of the electric car project marks a notable chapter in Apple’s history, it signifies the company’s adaptability and focus on areas with long-term profitability potential.

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Company News

Olam Group’s Second-Half Earnings Rise 15.5%, Share Price Jumps 10%

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Olam

Olam Group Ltd., a prominent agricultural trader, reported an improvement in its second-half performance following a report of an ongoing investigation in Nigeria.

The company disclosed that its earnings soared by 15.5% to S$230.8 million ($172 million) in the six months ending in December as announced in a recent exchange filing.

Despite facing challenges throughout the year, including high borrowing costs and operational hurdles, Olam Group posted double-digit growth across various metrics in the latter half of the year.

The substantial improvement in earnings has buoyed investor confidence, reflecting optimism about the company’s resilience and capacity to navigate challenging market conditions.

The company’s share price rose by 10% during Singapore trading.

However, Olam Group’s full-year net income experienced a sharp decline, plummeting by 56% to S$278.7 million.

The company attributed this downturn primarily to high interest rates, which resulted in a significant increase in net finance costs amounting to S$401.9 million.

Olam Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Sunny Verghese, expressed optimism about the future, anticipating a decrease in interest rates in the latter part of 2024.

Also, the company announced plans to launch a share buyback program, signaling its belief that the group is currently undervalued in the market.

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