Dangote Cement, has maintained its dominance of the Nigerian market, accounting for 65 per cent of the total volume sold in the domestic cement sector in 2018.

The company also exported 800,000 metric tonnes (MT) of cement to West African countries, strengthening Nigeria’s position as a cement exporting country, creating jobs in the economy, and earning foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, the companies profit- after- tax for the year 2018, grew by 91.1 per cent, while the the directors of the company recommended a total dividend of N272.6 billion or N16 per share higher than N178.9 billion or N10.50 paid in 2017.

According to the details of Dangote Cement’s audited results for the year ended December, 31, 2018, released yesterday on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), it sold a total of 23.54 MT of cement across Africa indicating an increase of 7.4 per cent over 21.92 MT sold in 2017. Nigerian operations accounted for 14.18 MT representing an increase of 11.4 per cent over the volume of 12.72 metric tonnes sold during the preceding year. The increase in the Nigerian volume is attributable to higher building activities as the economy recovered from recession.

The sales volume in Nigeria is quite significant given the turbulent market situation as the election period approached and people usually hedge in the construction industry during such periods.

Group chief executive officer, Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju, in his remarks said, “This is a record financial performance by Dangote Cement, driven by a strong increase in our home market, Nigeria, despite heavy rains and uncertainties about the election. Although Pan-African volumes were unchanged in 2018, I am confident that we will see an increase in 2019, driven by higher volumes in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Congo and Sierra Leone. Now that we have gas turbines operating in Tanzania we will also see increased profitability in the Pan-Africa region and this will help to improve overall Group margins.”

Across Africa, the cement Group posted a combined revenue of N901.21 billion, with Nigerian operations doing N618.30 billion, representing an increase of 11.9 per cent over N552.36 billion in 2017. The Nigerian economy was earlier projected to have grown by 1.9 per cent in 2017, meaning that Dangote Cement outperformed the domestic economy.

Pan-African operations recorded revenues of N263.26 billion, an increase of 9.6 per cent over N258.44 billion posted in the corresponding period in 2017. Profit- after- tax surged stood at N390.32 billion in contrast to N204.25 billion, while earnings per share rose from N11.65 to N22.83.

Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46Mta capacity across Africa. It is a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer, with a production capacity of 29.3Mta in the home market, Nigeria. The Obajana plant in Kogi State, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13.3Mta of capacity across four lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta, while Gboko plant in Benue State has 4Mta.