Dangote Cement to Expand in Three African Nations in 2014

Dangote Cement Plc, Nigeria’s largest company and Africa’s biggest producer of the building material, said it plans to begin operations in three countries this year as part of a longer-term expansion across the continent.

Dangote Cement plans “to start operations in Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Zambia in 2014,” Chief Executive Officer Devakumar Edwin said today on an investor conference call from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. Business in South Sudan is on hold because of military conflict in that nation, he said.

The company, controlled by billionaire Chairman Aliko Dangote, also plans to add 9 million tons to production in Nigeria by the end of this year as work begins on new lines at the Ibese and Obajana plants, Edwin said. It’s also reviewing the scope of business in Kenya in light of the discovery of “good” limestone deposits in the east African nation, he said.

Dangote Cement fell 0.3 percent to 225.92 naira at the close in Lagos. The stock has gained 3.2 percent this year, in contrast to a 6.9 percent retreat by the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

With production capacity totaling 20.3 million tons across three Nigerian plants, the company has a strategy to expand into 13 other nations in Africa, bringing total capacity to more than 60 million tons by 2016. Lagos-based Dangote Cement said yesterday that first-quarter net income dropped 11 percent from a year earlier to 47.6 billion naira ($295 million), while revenue rose 8.6 percent to 103.6 billion naira.