REST OF AFRICA
PPC is active in the DRC, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. These operations are the outcome of our strategy to diversify the business by selectively investing in growth countries detailed on page 20. These businesses now generate 27% (2017: 21%) of total revenue.
CIMERWA (Rwanda), Habesha (Ethiopia), PPC Barnet (DRC) and PPC Zimbabwe are also home to four of PPC’s five modernisation and capacity expansions in the past five years. Plants in the DRC and Ethiopia were commissioned during the review period.
Revenue from the rest of Africa increased 30% to R2 762 million (2017: R2 119 million) and total volumes rose over 50%, supported by robust volume growth in Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Selling prices were fairly stable. EBITDA grew by a robust 14,2% to R736 million, with EBITDA margins contracting from 30,5% to 26,7%. PPC Zimbabwe and CIMERWA contributed to the growth in profitability, while PPC Barnet detracted as it is in ramp-up phase. Like for like, excluding the impact of PPC Barnet, EBITDA would have risen 23%, with corresponding margins exceeding 32%.
In achieving these results, PPC continued to focus on its strategic priorities by optimising operations and route-to-market strategies, while managing liquidity in-country.
In line with the group strategy (page 8), our focus over the next 12 to 18 months will be on accelerating progress in the following areas:
- Ongoing liquidity management in PPC Zimbabwe through exports and local procurement
- Ramping up volumes in the Barnet and Habesha
- Driving operational efficiency across all markets
- Embedding innovative and agile route-to-market strategies tailored to each country
- Developing human capital to support localisation plans
We expect volume growth in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe to continue, primarily driven by planned infrastructure projects. The political reforms in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe are positive, signalling improved outlooks for macro-economic factors.
In the DRC, we project volumes to increase towards capacity market share in 2019, driven by our route-to-market strategy. Macro-economic factors are expected to improve after elections in December 2018. We continue to examine options for PPC Barnet to further mitigate our risk exposure.
The business will focus on improving operational efficiencies by optimising energy mix, raw materials and logistics costs across all markets to improve competitiveness. Similarly, the focus on developing skills has been prioritised across all markets.