Lafarge: Expansion Plans Will Not Affect Dividend Payout


By Nurul Hanis Izmir


5 October 2013


Lafarge: Expansion Plans Will Not Affect Dividend Payout

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Bernama) -- Although the company is expanding its product lines to help meet buoyant domestic and international demand, cement manufacturer, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, is confident its plans would not affect its dividend payout to shareholders.


President/Chief Executive Officer Bradley Mulroney said the company was financially strong with no borrowings.


"We do not have a dividend policy, but, so far we are capable of maintaining our payouts.


"We have a history of paying out between 80 and 90 per cent in dividends and we have been practicing paying our shareholders at that level," he told Bernama.


On August 27, the company announced a second interim single-tier dividend of eight sen per ordinary share of RM1 each in respect of the financial year ending Dec 31, 2013, to be paid on October 23.


For the six-months ended June 30, the company reported a higher revenue of RM1.37 billion compared with RM1.34 billion registered a year ago, attributed by higher aggregate and concrete sales partially offset by lower revenue from the cement sector.


On its expansion, Lafarge Malaysia planned to construct two ready-mix batching plants in Chan Sow Lin and Sungai Buloh, both in Kuala Lumpur.


The plant in Chan Sow Lin is located on a 0.8 hectare piece of land and is expected to open this month, and by November, the Sungai Buloh plant will start operations.


Lafarge also proposes to open another quarry in Nilai to boost its aggregate output.


Meanwhile, on cement production, Mulroney said the company would be expanding capacity by 1.2 million tonnes via the combined plants at Rawang and Kanthan in Perak.


"The 1.2 million tonnes of extra capacity should go fully on stream by early 2015," he said.


With all these in the pipeline, Lafarge Malaysia is all set to bid for more projects.


"There is a number of significant projects that we are negotiating, but will wait for the right moment to announce them.


"But, so far, all the projects are located in the peninsula," he said, adding that Lafarge would prioritise its business in the domestic market before embarking on the export market.