Tanga Cement has announced 28 per cent growth in its net profit from the firm's operations during the 2008 financial year, despite increased costs of fuel and adverse effects of the global financial crisis. The firm's Managing Director, Juerg Fluehmann, told a news conference over the weekend that the results reflected improvement of operations.
He said during the year the firm sold a record 709,000 tonnes of cement, representing 41 per cent of the market share and 9.1 per cent growth over the 2007 performance. "The new cement plant has started production and will be completed during the second half of 2009. The new plant will raise production to 1,250,000 tonnes from 750,000 tonnes at present," he said.
Mr Fluehmann said due to change in the government's policy on import duty and the oversupply of cement on the global market, combined with freight rates collapsing, the firm saw at the end of the year a substantial increase of cement imports into Tanzania.
"We are working with the government to bring back the suspended duty as well as setting specific tariff as anti-dumping measure to protect the cement industry in Tanzania," he said. Mr Fluehmann said improvement of the firm's performance was due to successful modernization.
He said unreliable power supply continues to be the biggest challenge for Tanga Cement which has resulted into production losses and risks. "This problem is now making local production increasingly uncompetitive," he said.