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Pretoria Portland Cement reports a positive end to 2012

World Cement,

South African cement manufacturer, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) has reported that it experienced growth in its production volumes in 4Q12. Specifically, the company had demand from South Africa‚ Botswana and Zimbabwe to thank for this growth. The trend was visible across the whole of South Africa, barring the Eastern Cape, where the weather and imports had a detrimental effect on demand.

Although PPC will, naturally, be enjoying the positive effects of recent increases in the demand for cement, these are offset by the challenges that the company has faces in terms of product sourcing over this same period. While a lower than planned output from the company’s Dwaalboom factory can be blamed for these challenges, the technical issues behind the production drop have now been resolved.

With the successful increase of some prices in South Africa and Zimbabwe and the 51% acquisition of Cimerwa Limited for US$69.4 million, the company’s wider African strategy seems to be coming together. A Zimbabwean indigenisation certificate that PPC has recently received is another step forward in this same strategy, and with such strong momentum, it is small wonder that the company is expected to make further announcements along these lines later this year.

Elsewhere in the world, one might be able to glean from information on planned infrastructure projects whether the company’s success looks set to continue, but such information is thin on the ground in southern Africa. PPC remains optimistic however, albeit cautiously so.

Written by Jack Davidson.

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