Leading cement producer Arabian Cement is studying selling frozen shares owned by its shareholders, the company announced Sunday, adding that a general assembly meeting will be held to discuss the possibility.
Arabian Cement held an initial public offering (IPO) in 2014. On its first day of trading, the share price jumped from EGP 9 to EGP 10.39, with a trading volume of 17.3m shares. The total value of shares traded was $179.8m.
The offering was oversubscribed 18.5 times, as recorded purchase orders for private market transactions reached 460.5m shares. A total volume of only 24.9m shares were offered for sale, an allocation rate of nearly 5.4%.
During the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, the company recorded an 11% increase in revenues of EGP 585m, compared to the same quarter in 2014. This, however, did not lessen the significant drop in the company’s net profits, which plummeted by 52% to reach EGP 56m.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) totaled EGP 184m, 19% lower than the EGP 227m recorded during the corresponding quarter last year.
“Profit before tax declined by 45%, compared to 2014, reaching EGP 86m,” the company said in an official statement.
The company said higher transportation costs led to higher production costs and impacted this quarter’s results. It added that the Egyptian pound’s devaluation against the US dollar influenced the company’s foreign losses, which surged to EGP 31m in Q1 of 2015, compared to EGP 2.3m in Q1 of 2014.
In June, Arabian Cement announced the launch of its social start-up programme, “Khaleeha Suessi”.
The programme is being supported by development organisation Nahdet El-Mahrousa, the first incubator of early-stage social enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa region. It aims at promoting “positive social impact” and employment opportunities, by providing entrepreneurs with the tools needed to successfully establish their own social start-ups, Arabian Cement said in a statement.