18-October-2019
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Billionaire Dangote plans big growth in African cement capacity

Aliko Dangote, the richest person in Africa, is looking to expand cement capacity on the continent by 29% to 62 million tons, entrenching his flagship company’s position as the continent’s biggest producer of the construction material.

The billionaire plans to add six million tons in Nigeria next year, taking volume in Dangote Cement Plc’s home market to 35 million tons, he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. The rest of the expansion is planned mainly in West Africa, including Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.

The 62-year-old told shareholders in June the company plans to open plants in Nigeria that will allow it export clinker to grinding plants in Cameroon and West Africa.

Dangote, who is building one of the world’s biggest refineries in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, in addition to investments in gas and petrochemical plants, said he expects total group revenue to grow to about $30 billion from $4 billion when the plants start operations in the next 2 years.

Thereafter, plans include investing about 60% of profit outside Africa, including the U.S. and the U.K. “Sometimes in Africa you have issues of devaluation,” he said. “We want to really preserve some of the family’s wealth.”

Dangote Cement reported 6% increase in profit for the six months through June to 119.5 billion nairas ($331 million), even as revenue fell 3% to 467.7 billion nairas.

The stock climbed 0.5% to 151.50 nairas at the close in Lagos, the most since Aug. 22. Dangote shares are down 20% this year compared to a 12% decline by the 156-member Nigerian Stock Exchange Main Board Index.

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