Sergio Alcantarilla, CEO of the Arabian Cement Company, said that the company seeks to implement three new projects with investments worth more than EGP 130m during the current year, which will reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of the production process, allowing them to provide their products at relatively low prices in order to hedge against the inflationary pressures facing the market.
The projects include the construction of a mechanical crane to feed the furnace of the first line instead of the airlift—as it consumes a lot of electrical energy—as well as the establishment of a system to feed the cement mills by dust in small proportions that do not affect the specifications of cement and the establishment of a new coal mill. The total cost will be €7m.
“We know very well how the inflation affects the purchasing power, and we try to control our production costs and provide the product at relatively low prices,” Alcantarilla said.
He said that the current prices of cement in the Egyptian market after the flotation of the pound are still very low; therefore, the Egyptian cement products have a strong competitive advantage in export, but they need to overcome the bureaucracy problem.
He said that the flotation of the pound was the only option after the changes that happened to the economy and the exchange market.
He added that the Egyptian economy is on the right track, despite its impact on inflation and the purchasing power of consumers but that it requires more clarity of vision, the elimination of bureaucracy, and the confidence of foreign investors.
He added that the company’s entry on the stock exchange provided a new financing channel to be used in expansions over the past year.
On the other hand, the company’s net profit fell by 11.6% to EGP 245.02m, compared to EGP 277.2m in 2015. He said that the company lost EGP 81.1m as a result of the flotation of the pound.
The company’s capital is worth roughly EGP 757.5m, divided into EGP 378.7m shares with a market value of EGP 3.79bn.