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Shareholders laud Dangote initiative over cement upgrade

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Shareholders have commended the initiatives of the management of Dangote

cement Plc in upgrading the quality of its cement to 42.5 grade describing

the development as a good response to the demands of the time.

Speaking one after another at the 2013 Annual General meeting (AGM) of the

Company in Lagos, the shareholders passed a vote of confidence on the

management, saying it has exhibited a sense of patriotism and concern for

the users of the product.
This is just as the Chairman of the Company, Aliko Dangote explained that

the expansion strategies embarked upon by the management would culminate

in an increase of additional 9 million metric tonnes of cement capacity.

Shareholders lauded the Dangote Cement management for rising to the

occasion by raising the bar with the 42.5 and 52.5 grades recently

rebranded against the background of the incessant building collapse across

the nation.
They stated that with the upgrade of the cement from the staple of Dangote

Cement Plc, it would now be cleared that any incident of building collapse

anywhere could no longer be traced to the quality of cement, at least the

one produced by Dangote.
The Company Chairman disclosed that its expansion drive would increase

capacity and add additional 9 million metric tonnes, expressing

satisfaction that the importation of cement into the country has continued

to thin out with an estimate of just 1.1m metric tonnes imported in 2013

down from 1.9m in 2012.
He vowed that the company would stop at nothing to expand because

presently most the Nigeria's neighbours are importing cement from Far

East. “And we are confident that Nigeria's cement will prove more

attractive than the imports, particularly within the 15 member ECOWAS.”

To stabilize the price of cement and free the consumers from the

profiteering middlemen,  Dangote, said that his company would intensify

direct-to-consumer deliveries.
Insisting that his company has not increased the price of cement, he

explained that though prices of most inputs into cement production has

gone astronomically high but that his organization is committed to making

the commodity available to consumers at the most reasonable price.

“We have not increased the prices of our product, we have embarked on an

initiative to improve the standard of cement sold in Nigeria and our

belief is that 42.5 strength cement, is the most appropriate for general

use now.
“We have recently introduced 52.5 strength cement,which is appropriate for

heavy load-bearing structures such as bridges and flyovers, we hope to

increase the market share in the short-term by increasing the level of

direct-to-customers deliveries and competing on product superiority”, he

The company Chairman also expressed optimism that the current year would

offer better returns because trading has remained robust in the country

and the company has started witnessing solid start to the year with demand

up in all regions.
Dangote also informed the shareholders the status of the company's various

African projects as the shareholders one after another shower

commendations on the management of the cement company.

Said he: In Ethopia, work is well underway, to build 2.5m mtpa plant at

Mugher with production expected late in 2014. In Tanzania, we have begun

work on a 3m mtpa plant at Mtwara and would be fully operational in 2015.

In Zambia, work is underway on a 1.5m mtpa at Ndola with cement production

expected in second half of 2014.
“We are reviewing plans for Kenya with a view to increasing the scale of

our proposed factory from 1.5 to 3.0m tpa, because we are confident there

will be sufficient demand both in Kenya and neighbouring countries.”

Dangote disclosed that plan were afoot to build import and grinding

facilities along the coast of West Africa to receive and process raw

materials supplied from Nigeria, Senegal, and elsewhere.

In his comment during an interview journalists, Group Managing Director of

Dangote Cement Plc, DVG Edwin attributed the impressive results of the

company to focused and strategic management.
He stated: “Dangote Cement made excellent progress in 2013. As the

Nigerian cement market grew by a strong 15.6% we managed even better

growth of 28.2%, with our revenues increasing by 29.4% to ₦386.2bn.

Our direct-delivery strategy is proving very popular with customers and I

am pleased to report that direct-to-customer deliveries now account for

more than half of our sales.”
“We increased our margins despite continuing disruption to our gas supply

and believe that the gas distribution infrastructure will be more robust

in 2014, enabling us to improve our margins even further. At the same time

we are looking at ways to diversify our fuel supplies to mitigate the

impact of any future disruption and reduce the cost of using alternative

fuels to gas.”
“Our financial strength has allowed us to increase our dividend by 133% to

₦7.0 per share and the coming year will see our new factories

opening across Africa as we begin to deliver on our promise to become

Africa's leading cement producer, generating strong and sustainable

returns for our shareholders.”