Lafarge Africa, the continent’s second-biggest producer of cement, plans to cut debt in the next two years as it seeks to boost profit before resuming expansion, the company’s chairman said. The company expects its leverage ratio, which measures the level of debt incurred by a business against its assets, to drop to between 60% and 70% "over the next 18 months", from more than 100%, Mobolaji Balogun said in an interview in Lagos, Nigeria. It sees earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation more tolerable at about $200m in 2018. "As soon as the debt becomes more comfortable, we don’t sit there, we will put the foot down on the next round of expansion," he said. The African unit of Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim wants to take advantage of improvements in the Nigerian economy and a recovery in SA to expand and boost profit. Its total debt dropped to about $600m from more than $1bn after using funds, including the proceeds of a 131-billion naira ($361.7m) rights offe...

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