Lafarge Africa Plc has announced a loss after tax of N2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, compared with a profit after tax of N9.4 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

The company’s unaudited results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday, showed that Lafarge recorded revenue of N80.6 billion in the quarter under review, representing a decline of -0.86 percent when compared with the N81.3 billion generated in quarter one of 2017.

The performance for the quarter showed that both top line and bottom line figures declined as a gross profit of N18 billion was recorded, compared to N20.9 billion in the corresponding quarter.

The performance is as a result of an increase in administrative expenses and finance cost, which rose from N6.9 billion to N10.2 billion, and from N9.2 billion to N3.9 billion in the quarter under review respectively, due to an increase in interest on borrowings and a recently incurred interest on bank overdraft.

Lafarge Africa Plc, a sub-Saharan African building materials company, recorded a loss of N34.601 billion full year to December 2017, and Michel Pucheros, the chief executive officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, said:

“In 2018 we shall implement a continuous improvement programme that will see us building on EBITDA margins above the 35 percent benchmark.”

In this quarter, Lafarge’s EBITDA, which is a measurement of the company’s operating profit to its total revenue is -3.65 percent and for them to surpass the 35 percent benchmark at the end of 2018, they must make an effort towards curbing current expenses.

The Chairman of the company, Mobolaji Balogun, said the company’s turn-around plan launched at the beginning of 2016, third quarter impacting positively on the financial results of 2017.

He stressed the plan revolved around achieving high reliability across Lafarge’s production facilities, increasing the use of alternative fuel (biomass) and locally-sourced coal as a way to mitigate disruption of production by gas supply shortages and the impact and the impact of devaluation on cost of gas.