Lafarge: Expansion Will Not Affect Dividend Payout


6 October 2013


Lafarge: Expansion Will Not Affect Dividend Payout


KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 6, 2013): Although the group 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 and CEO Bradley Mulroney said the group is 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 18% and 19% in dividends and we have been practising paying our shareholders at that level," he told Bernama.


On Aug 27,2013, the group announced a second interim dividend of 8 sen per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2013, payable on Oct 23.


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


On its expansion, Lafarge Malaysia plans 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 0.8ha 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 group will 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. – Bernama