Senior Business Reporter
LAFARGE Cement Zimbabwe has warned investors that the breakdown at one of its key milling plants last year could have a significant negative impact on the group’s financial performance.
“Further to the cautionary announcement dated November 17, 2021, shareholders are advised of the completion of the investigations and assessment of the damage caused by the collapse of the roof on one of the company’s mills on October 11, 2021.
“The company is still working diligently on the restorative works necessary so that normal operations may resume as soon as possible.
“Therefore, shareholders are advised that the disruption of cement production as well as the cost of the ongoing repairs will have a negative effect on the financial results of the company for Quarter 1, 2022,” Lafarge said in a statement.
The company experienced a critical on site incident involving the collapse of the roof over one of its major cement mills located in Harare. However, there were no cases of fatalities and injuries.
No further details into both the financial and infrastructure damage the incident caused have been released, but the company has advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement is made.
The cement producer last year promised that the mill would be back up in the second half of this month, but it seems like the repairs have taken longer than anticipated.
“However, the cement milling operations have since stopped until the restoration of the roof is complete. It is currently expected that the mills will be back in production by the second half of January 2022,” Lafarge said.
Meanwhile, the firm said it was still producing clinker, manufacturing Dry Mortars and expanding the retail franchise, Binastore.
Prior to the roof collapse at the milling plant, company secretary Faithful Sithole said last year that there had been a surge in demand for cement in spite of the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In line with the 2021 strategic agenda, the business achieved volume growth leveraging on the growing market demand in the individual home builder segment as well as the ongoing major infrastructure development projects led by the Government.”