Lafarge hails business-government dialogue on the economy

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By Alois Vinga

LAFARGE Cement Zimbabwe Limited (LACZ) has hailed the sustained spirit of dialogue and engagement between government and industry as a measure to find each other in economic progress.

Presenting a trading update for the first quarter, LACZ said such an engagement atmosphere marked by sustained dialogue will impact positively on the economy.

“The Board is encouraged by the positive trajectory of the economy and anticipates that collaborative dialogue between Government, industry and other stakeholders will be maintained in order to restore and safeguard business confidence as well as preserve value and restore macroeconomic stability,” he said.

Ndugwa said during the period, the economic environment benefited from relatively lower inflation which however deteriorated towards the end of the quarter.

The company forecast to double cement output in the second quarter of 2022 following a recent machinery plant machinery upgrade.

“One of the existing cement ball mills was decommissioned to make way for the installation of the new Vertical Roller Mill (VRM) that will double the company’s capacity after commissioning in Q2,” he said.

The company expressed confidence that volumes will recover and grow as the availability of cement stabilises, especially after the new VRM start-up in Q2.

“The overall market demand continues to grow driven by the segment of individual home builders as well as the ongoing major government infrastructure development projects.

“Despite the adverse impact of the cement mill house roof collapse on cement volumes, the company’s historic revenue grew by 36% versus the same period last year and declined by 18% on inflation adjusted performance,” he said.

The company also sustained the highest standards of health and safety through a robust framework of policies and programmes which are tailored to achieve zero harm in its operations.