Lafarge holds on to shareholders dividend

By Wellington Zimbowa
DESPITE a 27 percent (%) revenue jump to RTGS1.1 Billion, as announced in the first quarter 2020 business period, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Limited is not keen to declare a dividend for the half-year period ending 30 June 2020 as fears abound about the country’s economic outlook as the Covid-19 magnifies the business uncertainty
Volumes for the Switzerland headquartered company for the period under review closed at 14.1 percent lower, as compared to the same period under review in the previous year, although the months of May and June registered marked volume increase.
“The business started the year on a satisfactory note with first-quarter volumes marginally exceeding the same prior comparable period by 1.4%.
“However, the onset of the COVID- 19 lockdown caused a significant drop in the monthly volumes of April 2020 by 71.4% compared to the same month in the prior year,” said the company statement accompanying the mid-year report.
The company notes that there is a general market decline quantified to 13.0% compared to the previous year, while COVID- 19’s economic blow in the short term forecast, will continue rearing its ugly head amid skyrocketing inflation.
Only robust business intervention strategies can help business leverage in the foregoing challenges, says the company, and guarantee shareholder interest.
“Although the latter is yet to be fully quantified, it is inevitable that a further slowdown of economic activity may be expected in the absence of a cure or vaccine for COVID- 19.
“With a robust and ambitious strategic agenda in place, as well as the capital investment to support it, the business is poised to mitigate the negative effects of the difficult economic environment and grow shareholder value,” said Lafarge Cement.

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