East African Portland Cement posts EUR 7.5mn net loss for FY 2011/12.

By bne IntelliNews November 1, 2012
Kenyan cement maker East African Portland Cement turned into a net loss of KES 821.5mn (EUR 7.5mn) for the fiscal year to end-June from a net profit of KES 1.7mn a year earlier, hurt by a major plant breakdown and labour unrest which led to lower production and sales. The companys sales dropped 15% y/y to KES 8.6bn in a period when cement consumption in the country more than doubled to 3.4 million metric tonnes from 1.6 million. Portland said that production and sales were hit by a labour unrest that caused operations to be shut down in January and a major breakdown of one of its kilns in November, while its overall performance was additionally hurt by a weakening shilling and rising power and raw material costs. Portland expects its performance to improve in the current fiscal year, as it believes that the reduction in interest rates would spur growth in the construction sector and boost the demand for cement. But the expected recovery might be tempered by investors exercising caution in the lead-up to the country's general elections, due in March 2013.

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