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BCC to power plant with coal in 2011, declares N14.4b profit


TO curtail cost and ensure uninterrupted operations, the management of Benue Cement Company Plc (BCC) has concluded plans to install coal as an alternative to fuel for the firing of its kilns.

Already, according to BCC, letter of credit have been set up for the purchase of coal mills, adding that installation will be completed during the latter part of 2011 and 2012.

According to the Chairman of BCC Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, while the company recognise the enormous challenges facing the manufacturing sector of Nigerian economy, the board of directors is committed to improvement in the performance of the plan in the years to come.

In his report for the year ended December 31, 2009 obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend, the BCC chairman said as part of the plans to ensure growth objective is realised, the company in 2009 commissioned the installation of 60 million litres tank farm for the storage of fuel required for the firing of kilns and power generation.

He said the investment will ensure adequate supply of fuel to the plant for approximately 90 days.

Dabgote also explained that the company within the period under review recorded a turnover of N35.1billion as against N16.5 billion achieved in 2008 while profit after tax went up from N4.1billion in 2008 to N14.4 billion in 2009.

Explaining further, Dangote said during the period under review, the company’s product was re-branded from ‘Lion Portland Cement’ to ‘Dangote Cement’ in line with the company’s new brand management and marketing strategy.

He said despite the deterioration in energy supplies (fuel and electricity) in the country during 2009, the company was able to improve cement production and dispatches significantly.

“Cement dispatches in 2009 were 1,370,000 metric tobnes, approximately 109 per cent above the volume achieved in 2008.

As a result, turnover grew by 112 per cent in 2008 together with an impressive improvement in operating margin to 46 per cent, up from 35 per cent achieved in 2008.

“Members will recall that an interim dividend of N1 per share was paid in July 2009 and the board has recommended subject to approval a final dividend of another N1 per share,” said Dangote.

Making reference to its workforce, the BCC chairman said the company is committed to the personal and professional development of its workforce and their work environment.

“Appropriate staff training will be vigorously pursued aimed at ensuring improved professional and leadership abilities for the sustained future growth and higher performance levels in their various functional areas.

“Staff welfare, safety, health and healthy work environment of all employees and contractors is a matter of importance to the company. Proper monitoring and implementation of programmes designed to ensure effectiveness in these areas continues to be priority,” Dangote added.

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