24 May 2013
Lafarge Malayan Cement to Finalise Next Expansion Plans by August
PETALING JAYA: Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd expects to finalise its next phase of expansion plans by August, with a focus on the domestic market in tandem with the continued roll-out of construction projects under the 10th Malaysia Plan and the Economic Transformation Programme.
President and chief executive officer Bradley Mulroney said the company, which was going through the various options, was looking at finalising the plans at its upcoming board meeting in August.
“The key objective for us is to maintain our key market position, and we are very confident about the growth prospects of the Malaysian market and the growth prospects of some other neighbouring markets, too.
“We look at least five years forward, anticipating the demand growth by 2018 to 2019, put in the appropriate capacity expansion and review that (the expansion) in 2016/2017 to make sure we are still on course,” he told reporters yesterday.
He said the company's facilities were now running at full capacity with its export business complementing the domestic side.
“We will start to export to Myanmar soon and other markets which are opening up as well, which bodes well for our export business. Currently, the export market contributes about 20% to 30% to our business,” Mulroney said.
On the local front, he said the company was looking at several portions of the Mass Rapid Transit project, including the underground tunnel lining portion.
Lafarge is currently an exclusive cement supplier to the KLIA2 project as well as the Manjung and Tanjung Bin power plant projects.
The country's largest cement producer said that in 2012, domestic cement demand grew 4% driven by stable investments by the private sector and a steady stream of foreign direct investments.
This year, the company plans to expand its range to other products, namely Hydromedia, the free draining concrete, Mascrete ECO and Harimau.
“Harimau was a powerful brandname 10 to 12 years ago. We are designing the product for a specific purpose now and would launch it either in the third or fourth quarter this year,” he said.
For its first quarter ended March 31, the company posted a lower net profit of RM54.3mil compared with RM64.8mil a year earlier. However, it maintained its dividend payout at eight sen per share, despite recording lower earnings per share of 6.4 sen.