Sephaku Holdings, a newcomer to regional cement markets, posted a fall in its final result in financial 2018 amid a downturn in building and civil infrastructure developments in SA. The Nigerian-backed group experienced a "challenging operating year" as competition in the ready-mix concrete segment intensified. This led to lower volumes amid a marginal improvement in pricing for its Metier ready-mix business.

"We responded by optimising overall capacity utilisation in terms of production and transport between the different plants to minimise the downward pressure on profitability," CEO Lelau Mohuba said on Thursday. But group net profit fell from R68m in 2017 to R44m in the year ended March 2018. Headline earnings per share of 20.92c fell from 33.37c in 2017. Political stability The cement business, which has a December 2018 year end as a subsidiary of Nigeria’s Dangote Cement, fared little better, although improved pricing for the industry for the 12 months ended December 201...

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