SOUTH AFRICA’s Pretoria Portland Cements (PPC) says it does not expect its domestic sales for the first quarter to March to increase due to lack of consumer demand as a result of the rainy season.
In an interview with the Southern Eye Business, PPC general manager in charge of sales and marketing in Zimbabwe, Roger Stey, said domestic sales have been flat as from 2014.
“We had a positive trend up to last year and from there the sales neither improved nor declined. Year-on-year sales have flattened. First quarter sales are the lowest due to the rainy season, but also not forecast to increase or decrease from last year,” Steyn said without disclosing figures.
In its overview for 2014, the South African cement maker said it had secured $75 million to expand Zimbabwe operations, with the bulk mainly going to the ongoing construction of a 700 000 tonne per annum cement plant in Harare.
Construction of the plant will cost $85 million.
The firm said the bulk of the money was supported by business units in the country.
PPC is the country’s largest cement company with an annual capacity of 1,2 million tonnes and it intends to double its capacity by building a clinker plant in Mt Darwin and a cement crushing mill in Tete.
In 2014, the company commissioned Phase 1 of modernising its packaging and dispatch facility which includes the installation of two palletiser units and a shrink-wrap machine.
The company has cement manufacturing plants in Cement Siding, Bulawayo and Colleen Bawn in Matabeleland South.
Zimbabwe’s cement companies have a combined annual capacity of 1,6 million tonnes, with Larfage and Sino Cement producing 400 000 and 250 000 tonnes respectively.